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The Strange Affair of Madeleine Smith

Victorian Scotland's Trial of the Century

by Douglas MacGowan

£9.99

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1665 in stock

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SKU: 9781846975806 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,
ISBN: 9781846975806
Published: 02 Sep 2021
Format: Paperback
Extent: 256
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Polygon , Polygon
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About the Book

It was a case that rocked Victorian society. Emile L'Angelier was a working-class immigrant from the Channel Islands who began a clandestine affair with prominent Glasgow socialite Madeleine Smith. Six weeks after Emile threatened to show Madeleine's father their passionate letters, on 23 March 1857, he was found dead from arsenic poisoning. The evidence against Madeleine seemed overwhelming as she went to trial for murdering her lover.

Douglas MacGowan's vivid account reads by turns like a thriller, a love story and a courtroom drama. He quotes
extensively from contemporary sources, notably the pathology reports, the trial testimony and the infamous correspondence between Madeleine and Emile, whose explicit content so shocked Victorian sensibilities. Ultimately it is up to the reader to judge Madeleine’s guilt or innocence.


The Author

Douglas MacGowan

Douglas MacGowan was born in Chicago in 1963 and has lived in California since 1968. He received a Bachelor of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco in 1988 and has contributed articles to the Scottish Journal, The Scotsman and Celtic Heritage. He has been married for ten years and currently lives on the San Francisco peninsula with his wife, far too many cats and one dog.

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