Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century

So first of all today is Oscar Wilde’s birthday so I thought this would be a perfect time to post it.

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Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century by Phillip Hoare

In the spring of 1918 London, Oscar Wilde was put on trial eighteen years after his death.

A staging of the Wilde’s play Salomé was finally permitted with Maud Allan as the lead. Her eroticism outraged Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament. He denounced her as part of the Cult of Clitoris, the female version of the Cult of Wilde.

He believed this cult had infected the land with its perversion.

Maud sued Billing for libel and the trial that followed held the world in thrall.  Did Billing really have a black book with the names of 47,000 members of the Cult of Wilde? Where they promoting degeneracy? Or was Billing just paranoid and hysterical?

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Thoughts After Reading:

This book was the most boring-est I’ve ever read. The author just throws you with so many characters and backstories it almost makes your mind want to explode as you are trying to figure out which character is important and need to be known later and who is filler.

Ugh!

The book just crawled by too. It made it horrible to read.

I think it would have been better if they started with the trial, giving us a taste, and then went into the people so we knew who was who. I didn’t like it and I don’t think I’ll be reading any of Hoare’s work in the future.

For more nonfiction, go to The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

High Road to the Stake: A Tale of Witchcraft

High Road to the Stake: A Tale of Witchcraft

Highroad to the Stake: A Tale of Witchcraft by Michael Kunze

Thoughts Before Reading:

I had to read this for my class on Early Modern Europe, but didn’t.

I know. Since I couldn’t return it I decided to just hold on to it and read it later.

Plot Synopsis:

This book is the account of the Pappenheimers family. This unit of five-father Paulus; mother Anna; sons Jacob (sometimes called Michel), Gumpprecht, and Hoel (sometimes called Hansel). They were a lower class family that moved around like gypsies.

An arrested thief named them as his conspirators in murdering pregnant women and called them witches. They were arrested and taken to Munich.

There they were tortured and accused of committing over hundreds of thefts and murders, basically any unsolved crime.

Michael Kunze gives a deatailed account of life in the 17th century, and a detailed account of the horror of the witch hunts and trials.

Thoughts After Reading:

I have tried to read this book five times and barely make it out of the first few chapters.

Ugh

It is so dense and I just can’t connect to the work. I’m not sure if it is his style or maybe the translation, but after the fifth time trying to read it; I just kissed it goodbye.

For more nonfiction, go to The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower

For more books featuring witches, go to The Witch Hunter’s Tale

For more books I read for class, go to The Midwife’s Tale

For more book reviews, go to Beyond the Grave: A Choose Your Own Ending Mystery Adventure

Ticker

Ticker

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

So this book is a science-fiction/mystery/historical fiction/steam punk story. Penny Farthing had a heart problem and nearly dies. Calvin Warwick, a brilliant surgeon and her sister’s boyfriend, creates a clockwork heart to keep her alive, a Ticker.

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This Tin Man-esque type creation has turned Penny into the first of the “Augmented”, altered humans. Ultimately, a cyborg.

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However, things have changed. Warwick has been killing people in order to create the perfect heart, one that will be even more perfect and able to continue Penny’s life. Since then Warwick has been imprisoned and today will be sentenced for the crimes he committed.

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Penny, her brother Nic, and her parents are preparing to go down the courthouse; but Penny is running late to meet them at their family’s factory. Penny is even further derailed when her friend, baker, and brother’s girlfriend; Violet messages her that she is baking her favorite sweets. Penny heads over there before she goes back on track.

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Penny hurries over, almost being hit by some other means of transportation. When she arrives at the factory she in for one heck of a surprise. A bomb.

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In the aftermath, Penny discovers that Nic was not in the building, and her parents went on ahead. Penny immediately uses her RiPA messaging system to let them know the two are okay, but hears nothing from them.

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Nic’s old friend Sebastian Stirling; rich, playboy, and businessman arrives to help out They head over to their house where they discover it has been ransacked and a ransom note left behind. They must give up all the Augmentation research or the parents will be killed.

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It is now up to them to find the parents before Warwick kills them.

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Thoughts After Reading:

It was pretty good although there was quite a bit not covered in this. Such as the history of the area, the time it takes place in, how this society works.

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I didn’t like Marcus, the soldier that helps them, and didn’t want him as Penny’s romantic lead.

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Instead I liked Sebastian Stirling I don’t know why they made him evil.

Really Mike?

Whatever.

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For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more not in a series mysteries, go The Book of Madness and Cures

For more reviews, go to Sew Deadly

The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

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The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins

I first became aware of this book through a contest. You entered to win the book, the only thing required of you was to write an honest review.

I entered and couldn’t wait for my email saying they were sending the book to my kindle!

Please!

I checked my email, and I saw that they decided to not send me the book.

What?

As they felt I wasn’t suited to it, that I wasn’t the “right choice” of reader.

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I was so mad.

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But I still really wanted to read it. So I put it on my Goodreads’ list, and decided to wait until my library bought a copy, to borrow and read it.

So lo and behold, I got my hands on a copy and I LOVED IT!

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The book chronicles the discovery of chopped up body found in different sections of New York City, in 1897. All the great newspapers were sparring at the time and competing as to who could find the man’s identity and figure out the killer first. The book is divided into seven parts.

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I: The Victim

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The pieces of the body are found scattered throughout the city and surrounding, minus a head. From boys discovering the chest while taking a dip off a pier; a family going cherry picking and finding a leg; to a farmer looking at a red duck pond and realizing that not only has blood tainted the water but there is also a body part.

Which such an astounding discovery, reporters are sent out everywhere, investigating before the police even decided it was a murder case.

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II: The Suspects

Are you lying to me?

After figuring out who the mutilated corpse was, reporters discover his lover Mrs. Nack, her estranged husband, and new love interest. Which one did the killing? Who is innocent?

Each newspaper backs up a seperate person as innocent and persecutes who they believe to be a villian. It is up to the police to do actual work in investigating who has the motive, means, and of course: who actually did it not who makes the best news.

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III: The Indictment

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The police settle on who they believe the killer is, the D.A is building a case and defense attorneys are fighting for their chance to represent the case of a lifetime.

Now just because the police are preparing to prosecute someone, doesn’t mean it is all over fpor the newspapers. They are still contending with each other, and making sure everyone knows the facts and fiction.

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IV: The Trial

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Jury selection begins, a truly difficult matter as with the newspapers how they are, as practically every person is aware of what the case entails.

As the accused await trial, the newspapers continue to cover and predict what will happen next. Men and women travel from all over to watch the trial, enduring a rotten stench, extreme heat, and other issues arising from the poor construction of a courthouse.

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V: The Verdict

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The jury and judge decide whom the guilty parties are and distribute sentence. Appeals are made to the government and the newspapers.

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VI: Epilogue

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Collins concludes with not only a summarization of what happened next in our main character’s lives; but also gives a brief lesson on the newspapers rises, falls, and buyouts.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book.

fantastic

I thought it was supremely perfect. It was informative, historical, and told everything in an amazing and interesting way. I know many historians fall victim to being dry and dull, but not this work. In fact I had the hardest time putting it down.

from janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

from janeaustenrunsmylife.wordpress.com

Everything about it was just amazing! I am dying to buy a copy. And I am looking forward to reading more of Collins’ work.

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For more Goodreads recommendations, go to The Dollhouse Murders

For more book reviews, go to Good, Clean, Murder