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Love and Madness: The Murder of Martha Ray,…
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Love and Madness: The Murder of Martha Ray, Mistress of the Fourth Earl of… (original 2004; edição 2009)

por Martin Levy (Autor)

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824253,679 (3.21)4
In eighteenth-century England the aristocracy dominated the imagination, their exploits -- and misdeeds -- discussed, debated, and gossiped about in the salons and parlors of London. Now author Martin Levy vividly re-creates one of the most shocking and scandalous events of the period, in a riveting true tale of passion, obsession, murder, and courtroom drama. On a spring evening in the year 1779, a young woman emerged from London's Covent Garden Theatre amid a grand swirl of lords and ladies, their servants and coachmen. From out of the shadows a man emerged, dressed in a black suit. He raised a pistol and fired one fatal shot point-blank into the woman's head. A sudden and brutal murder, it was all the more shocking because of the identities of those involved. The victim was Martha Ray, famed aficionada of fashion and the arts, and longtime live-in mistress of the Earl of Sandwich, high-ranking minister to King George III. The assailant was James Hackman, a respected Anglican minister and Martha Ray's former lover. It was a savage crime that rocked both British high society and the church, and inflamed the interest and imagination of such renowned personages as Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, noted biographer and lover of prostitutes and executions. And it resulted in a courtroom extravaganza unique in the annals of legal proceedings -- where passion was the motive, the madness of "momentary phrenzy" the mitigating circum-stance . . . and love the ultimate justification for a crazed act of murder. With consummate skill, author Martin Levy brings to breathtaking life the sights and sounds of an unparalleled era in history -- when hangings were public entertainment and debauchery was a popular pastime of the wealthy and the titled -- and expertly unravels the mystery behind a truly sensational slaying. Fascinating, startling, edifying, and entertaining, Love and Madness is a brilliant tale of crime and punishment as vivid and compelling as the headlines of today.… (mais)
Membro:robnbrwn
Título:Love and Madness: The Murder of Martha Ray, Mistress of the Fourth Earl of Sandwich
Autores:Martin Levy (Autor)
Informação:HarperCollins e-books (2009), 268 pages
Colecções:Kindle
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Kindle, History, 18th Century

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Love & Madness por Martin Levy (2004)

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This book highlights the eighteenth-century murder of an earl's mistress and the maddening love which led to it. The author delves into the lives of Martha Ray, the Earl of Sandwich, and Martha's murderer James Hackman. Hackman had been rebuffed in his marriage proposal to Martha, an event he was ultimately unable to accept and led to his murder of Martha and attempted suicide. A fascinating insight into this case and how the 18th-century society viewed love, madness, and execution. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Dec 18, 2017 |
An interesting little book that is a very quick and easy read. At less than 150 pages (for the story proper - it also includes poems and letters purportedly written by Martha and James) you can knock this one out in a day or a couple of nights.

It's the story of Martha Ray (or Reay, as it is sometimes spelled) who became the mistress of the 4th Earl of Sandwich after his wife became a "lunatic". It was a step up for both her and her father (who had to give permission) and she seemed to have made the best of it. Lord Sandwich made it very clear that although she would share his home and his bed, he would never share his social standing with her. Relegated to the background when women were guests at his home, she nonetheless carved out a decent life for herself and the many children she had with him.

Purely by chance she meets James Hackman, a member of the Royal Navy, who falls suddenly and completely in love with Martha. She apparently does not feel the same towards him and eventually tells him so after he leaves the Navy to become a 'country parson' to be closer to her. Unfortunately this does nothing to cool his ardor.

He becomes almost completely unhinged and one night after she is leaving a show at Covent Garden, he is waiting with two loaded pistols.

Was it cold-blooded murder? A murder-suicide plan? The rash act of an insane man? There may be no final solution to what happend to Martha.

The author relies on a multitude of contemporary quotations which drag down the reading - the florid language style doesn't help the flow of the story much. All in all, it's a good read for those who enoy historical non-fiction. ( )
  TheFlamingoReads | Aug 29, 2009 |
James Hackman shot and killed Martha Ray on a sppring day in 1779 in London. This is their story. Readable . . . With poems. ( )
  fauxcajun | Nov 13, 2006 |
This one is so short it's a one day read really. The fairly unknown story of Martha Ray the sometime singer all time mistress to the unpopular and borish fourth Earl of Sandwich.

I'm tempted to dismiss this book. It's good, and the story is well covered, yet the author has a bad habit of jumping around, covering historic backgrounds too often. For example, he discusses the hanging of Lord Ferrers (granted a facinating case on it's own) taking up nearly it's own chapter, simply to discuss class and the lack of immunity to be tried and hanged for murder. There seemed to be some lack in his points.The murderer of La Ray was not a noble but a common man. And he brought up other famous murders that again, had no connection to the case. The book had some floating issues.

Other than that, it was excellent. He made no "theories" he made excellent use of facts, I did find his discussion between Goethe's work "Sorrows of Werter" and the murderer's unrequited love interesting and plausible and the discussion of other cases in the same years of sucides and murders of the same sort relevent (unlike discussion of Ferrers murder of his baliff) and interesting. The mind of this era was romantic and easily influenced by meloncholy and Goethe's work shouldn't be underestimated.

His citing of contemporary letters and newspapers is excellent and it's a nice little book. But again, I'm curious if the lack of information on the case drove him to use "filler" material. Although his claim of the newspapers of the time being full of the case makes me wonder.

Other than the ADD-like aspects of the book, it is a good read, and will most likely be THE definitive book on Martha Ray for a good long time.

Well illustrated, worth the read but add to it some of your own research on the net please. ( )
  Jaie | Aug 19, 2006 |
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In eighteenth-century England the aristocracy dominated the imagination, their exploits -- and misdeeds -- discussed, debated, and gossiped about in the salons and parlors of London. Now author Martin Levy vividly re-creates one of the most shocking and scandalous events of the period, in a riveting true tale of passion, obsession, murder, and courtroom drama. On a spring evening in the year 1779, a young woman emerged from London's Covent Garden Theatre amid a grand swirl of lords and ladies, their servants and coachmen. From out of the shadows a man emerged, dressed in a black suit. He raised a pistol and fired one fatal shot point-blank into the woman's head. A sudden and brutal murder, it was all the more shocking because of the identities of those involved. The victim was Martha Ray, famed aficionada of fashion and the arts, and longtime live-in mistress of the Earl of Sandwich, high-ranking minister to King George III. The assailant was James Hackman, a respected Anglican minister and Martha Ray's former lover. It was a savage crime that rocked both British high society and the church, and inflamed the interest and imagination of such renowned personages as Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, noted biographer and lover of prostitutes and executions. And it resulted in a courtroom extravaganza unique in the annals of legal proceedings -- where passion was the motive, the madness of "momentary phrenzy" the mitigating circum-stance . . . and love the ultimate justification for a crazed act of murder. With consummate skill, author Martin Levy brings to breathtaking life the sights and sounds of an unparalleled era in history -- when hangings were public entertainment and debauchery was a popular pastime of the wealthy and the titled -- and expertly unravels the mystery behind a truly sensational slaying. Fascinating, startling, edifying, and entertaining, Love and Madness is a brilliant tale of crime and punishment as vivid and compelling as the headlines of today.

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