“Emile, for god’s sake do not send my letters to papa. It will be an open to rupture. I will leave the house. I will die...”
So wrote Madeleine Smith to her erstwhile and soon-to-be-deceased lover Emile L’Angelier in 1857. But just what drove this delicately-raised upper middle-class belle (a lover of dances, romantic intrigue and sentimental poetry) to an act of murder? Why did Victorian society have no choice but to let her get away with it?
Flanders, J. (2011). The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime. Thomas Dunne Books.
House, J. (1961). Square Mile of Murder. W. & R. Chambers.