- File Size: 89030 KB
- Print Length: 401 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 12, 2019)
- Publication Date: March 12, 2019
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07GNTCD8G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Trial of Lizzie Borden Kindle Edition
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“Enthralling…[Robertson] reopens the case and presents the evidence afresh, all those alluring details out of an Agatha Christie novel (the mystery of Lizzie’s burned dress, the curious disappearance of a hatchet handle). The reader is to serve as judge and jury.” —Parul Sehgal, The New York Times
"With deft storytelling and convincing scholarship, Cara Robertson does the seemingly impossible by bringing new life to perhaps our oldest true-crime saga: the Gilded Age case of Lizzie Borden. By giving us Fall River, Massachusetts, in full and in context, as well as the panoply of characters who made the trial so sensational, Robertson has written that rarest of things: a page-turner with a point." —Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America
“A fascinating social history.” —Mary Higgins Clark, bestselling author of I’ve Got My Eyes on You
“The Trial of Lizzie Borden is a taut, understated masterpiece: the rare history book that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Cara Robertson scours the Trial of the (Nineteenth) Century with the perseverance of a scholar, the gimlet eye of a detective, and the elegance of a novelist. As she depicts the Borden murders and the young lady accused of committing them, Robertson reveals the seething class, ethnic, and gendered tensions that roiled the glittering surface of the Gilded Age.” —Jane Kamensky, author of A Revolution in Color and the Jonathan Trumball Professor of American History at Harvard University
"Robertson presents the story with the thoroughness one expects from an attorney...Fans of crime novels will love it." —Kirkus Review
"A fast-paced, page-turning read." —Booklist, starred review
"You won’t be disappointed." —Hello Giggles
"A fascinating and definitive account of the notorious trial of Lizzie Borden, the woman accused of the brutal murder of her father and her stepmother. Beautifully written and rich in detail, The Trial of Lizzie Borden sheds new light not only on the trial itself, but also on the setting, the period, and, in a sense, on the American soul at the end of the nineteenth century. —Lawrence M. Friedman, Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law, Stanford University
“The definitive account to date of one of America’s most notorious and enduring murder mysteries…a superior, page-turning true crime narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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I have read many accounts of this murder and even saw a play based on it. Ms. Robertson’s book is one of the most extensively researched and unbiased accounts I’ve read. This most definitely does not read like a historical novel as well it shouldn’t, though never ceased to hold my interest. This is a fact-based accounting based on Ms. Robertson’s twenty years of research. The book itself ended at 65%, the rest being a list of notes detailing the source of almost every sentence in the book.
What I found the most impressive about the book was that the author includes much information about society at the time of the murder and the way people perceived women. The men on Lizzie’s jury just couldn’t imagine a lady such as Lizzie committing such an atrocious act. For a women to do what was done to these two victims, she would have had to have been a monster and that would have shown in her countenance. The book also touches on what was thought to be the cause of “hysteria” in women.
The book not only covers the trial in detail but also the discussions that were taking place outside of the courtroom and newspaper accountings, as well as rumors. Another plus is that the book is chock full of photos that help the details to life.
A must read for true life crime readers. Highly recommended.
Because this is an account of the Borden trial itself the actual crime and the other events that led up to it occupy only about the first 90 pages of this 290 page plus meticulous Notes volume. Miss Lizzie Andrew Borden was a 32 year old spinster who, in the summer of 1892, led an obscure existence in a cramped and badly designed house on Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts, sharing it with her older sister Emma, their wealthy but penny-pinching father, his second wife (the daughters' mother had died years earlier), and an Irish housemaid. Lizzie considered the Second Street house and the uncomfortable living conditions there to be beneath her status as a member of one of Fall River's finest families. On August 4, 1892 two horrific crimes ended Lizzie's obscurity: her father and stepmother were found axed to death,and a few days later she herself was arrested, charged with both murders, and taken into custody.
The trial the next summer attracted international attention and enormous press coverage. Robertson does an excellent job describing the hot and steamy atmosphere that made the courtroom a miserable place for most of the trial, and is just as skilled in describing the tactics used by the prosecution and the defense teams as the various witnesses came and went. Even Lizzie's dresses are carefully described, using accounts from newspapers of the time. Under Robertson's guidance (she is a former Supreme Court clerk and legal adviser at The Hague) the verdict of Not Guilty, rendered after an extremely short period of deliberation by an all male jury, becomes an understandable one.
The book finishes with a brief section detailing Lizzie's life after the trial. She and her sister moved to a larger, more elegant home in the best neighborhood of Fall River. She spent the rest of her life living there (Emma moved out after several years), shunned by most of the people she considered to be her peers, before quietly passing away in 1927. Robertson provides a final chapter on the enduring enigma of the case, noting that an important file kept by one of her primary defense attorneys remains locked away and unavailable to researchers.
I enjoyed The Trial of Lizzie Borden very much. I've read many of the books Robertson mentions in her account and I agree with her assessments of them, making only one additional recommendation of Robert Sullivan's "Goodbye Lizzie Borden," which has an acerbic and rather amusing take on the trial and the presiding judge's summings-up.
was a very well written, cleverly constructed account. It was rather refreshing and I would highly
recommend this to anyone who has interest in Lizzie Borden! Big kudos to the author for writing such a great account and keeping in fresh and new all at the same time!
Top international reviews
Some suspicion also fell on Bridget, the housemaid, but she was never charged and became, instead, a chief prosecution witness. A large part of the book concerned the legal battle between George Robinson, one of the defence counsel and Hosea Knowlton one of the prosecutors. A key issue of evidence concerned the admissibility of evidence that Lizzie had tried unsuccessfully to buy a deadly poison the day before the murders.
Readers will be drawn to guessing what the motive was; whether the evidence of character, past conduct, and the purchase of poison would be relevant. Ultimately, will the reader agree with the verdict of the jury? This is not a classic cliff-hanger but it is a well-written and arresting story. I agree with a previous reviewer that the use of the word 'mansplained' is a terribly sexist word, but the rest of the story was presented fairly and no further trace of sexism was detected.
If the 19th century.