Arsenic Under the Elms: Murder in Victorian New Haven

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9780803283091: Arsenic Under the Elms: Murder in Victorian New Haven
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The attorney Virginia A. McConnell provides a riveting view of Connecticut in the late 1800s as revealed through the unrelated but disturbingly similar murders of two young women. The first, Mary Stannard, was an unmarried mother who worked as a domestic and believed herself to be pregnant for a second time. The man accused of her murder, Reverend Herbert Hayden, was a married lay minister whose seduction of Mary was common knowledge. Three years later, Jennie Cramer, another woman of low social status, was found floating facedown in Long Island Sound off West Haven. The characters involved in the commission, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes emerge as vibrant individuals, and their stories shed light on many aspects of the Victorian world: sex and marriage; drugs, from arsenic to aphrodisiacs; forensic medicine; and courtroom procedures.

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About the Author:

Virginia A. McConnell teaches English, literature, speech, and criminal justice at Walla Walla Community College’s Clarkson Center in Washington and lives on thirty acres of land in Idaho.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Attorney/college teacher McConnells debut is an accomplished re-creation of two notorious murders of young women in the rural gentility of 1880s Connecticut, with a remarkable sense for the inequities and dark places of that vanished era. Near New Haven in 1878, a frightened, illiterate working girl named Mary Stannard was fed arsenic and had her throat slit, almost certainly by her lover Herbert Hayden, a failing minister; three years later, Jennie Cramer, The Belle of New Haven, was found dead of arsenic poisoning, following her forced seduction by Jim Malley, a member of the citys most prominent business family. Both cases created what would now be called a media circus; both culminated in grotesque trials which maligned the dead and their survivors, ignored scientific evidence, and freed men who probably killed to conceal obvious violations of then-universal notions of womanly virtue. With a refreshing absence of maudlin declamation, McConnell performs a masterly job of retrieving the lost history of these sensational events. Her crisp prose and comprehensive research make for a lively presentation of many remarkable details as she unfolds a disturbing tale of class-oriented gender discrimination and dramatizes the state criminal justice system in its infancy. (Ordinary citizens and an indiscreet press readily insinuated themselves into the investigation and trial, tainting them both; the grisly Victorian fascination with the misfortunes of others derailed justice still further.) McConnell also examines the repercussions of both murders for the victims hapless families, not sparing readers the tragic nature of otherwise remote events, and captures the resonance of these crimes within their communities. An intimate, compelling portrait of seamy and disturbing (thus forgotten) aspects of the Gilded Age that, in its narrative of yearningly naive young women and socially respectable male predators, offers a sobering augury of our own violent, sexually stratified times. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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McConnell, Virginia A.
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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Nebraska PB Ptg. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The attorney Virginia A. McConnell provides a riveting view of Connecticut in the late 1800s as revealed through the unrelated but disturbingly similar murders of two young women. The first, Mary Stannard, was an unmarried mother who worked as a domestic and believed herself to be pregnant for a second time. The man accused of her murder, Reverend Herbert Hayden, was a married lay minister whose seduction of Mary was common knowledge. Three years later, Jennie Cramer, another woman of low social status, was found floating facedown in Long Island Sound off West Haven. The characters involved in the commission, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes emerge as vibrant individuals, and their stories shed light on many aspects of the Victorian world: sex and marriage; drugs, from arsenic to aphrodisiacs; forensic medicine; and courtroom procedures. Seller Inventory # APC9780803283091

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Nebraska PB Ptg. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The attorney Virginia A. McConnell provides a riveting view of Connecticut in the late 1800s as revealed through the unrelated but disturbingly similar murders of two young women. The first, Mary Stannard, was an unmarried mother who worked as a domestic and believed herself to be pregnant for a second time. The man accused of her murder, Reverend Herbert Hayden, was a married lay minister whose seduction of Mary was common knowledge. Three years later, Jennie Cramer, another woman of low social status, was found floating facedown in Long Island Sound off West Haven. The characters involved in the commission, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes emerge as vibrant individuals, and their stories shed light on many aspects of the Victorian world: sex and marriage; drugs, from arsenic to aphrodisiacs; forensic medicine; and courtroom procedures. Seller Inventory # APC9780803283091

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Book Description Bison Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 262 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.0in. x 0.7in.The attorney Virginia A. McConnell provides a riveting view of Connecticut in the late 1800s as revealed through the unrelated but disturbingly similar murders of two young women. The first, Mary Stannard, was an unmarried mother who worked as a domestic and believed herself to be pregnant for a second time. The man accused of her murder, Reverend Herbert Hayden, was a married lay minister whose seduction of Mary was common knowledge. Three years later, Jennie Cramer, another woman of low social status, was found floating facedown in Long Island Sound off West Haven. The characters involved in the commission, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes emerge as vibrant individuals, and their stories shed light on many aspects of the Victorian world: sex and marriage; drugs, from arsenic to aphrodisiacs; forensic medicine; and courtroom procedures. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780803283091

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