Read The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London by Sarah Wise Free Online
Book Title: The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching in 1830s London|
The author of the book: Sarah Wise
Edition: Metropolitan Books
Date of issue: April 8th 2014
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Reader ratings: 7.5
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 897 KB
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A thrilling history of England's great metropolis at a point of great change, told through the story of a young vagrant murdered by "resurrection men"
Before his murder in 1831, the "Italian boy" was one of thousands of orphans on the streets of London, moving among the livestock, hawkers, and con men, begging for pennies. When his body was sold to a London medical college, the suppliers were arrested for murder. Their high-profile trial would unveil London's furtive trade in human corpses carried out by body-snatchers--or "resurrection men"--who killed to satisfy the first rule of the cadaver market: the fresher the body, the higher the price.
Historian Sarah Wise reconstructs not only the boy's murder but the chaos and squalor of London that swallowed the fourteen-year-old vagrant long before his corpse appeared on the slab. In 1831, the city's poor were desperate and the wealthy were petrified, the population swelling so fast that old class borders could not possibly hold. All the while, early humanitarians were pushing legislation to protect the disenfranchised, the courts were establishing norms of punishment and execution, and doctors were pioneering the science of human anatomy.
Vivid and intricate, The Italian Boy restores to history the lives of the very poorest Londoners and offers an unparalleled account of the sights, sounds, and smells of a city at the brink of a major transformation.
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Read information about the authorYou can hear me speak about each of my books by going to the following site, and clicking the links sarahwise.co.uk/tvradio.html
You can follow me on twitter @MissSarahWise
Extra stories, pictures and further exploration of the subjects of each of my three books are available to read at www.sarahwise.co.uk
My Psychology Today blog on 19th-century mental health is here
As for me: I live in central London and as well as writing my non-fiction books, I am currently working on a screenplay of Inconvenient People.
I did a Master's degree in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London – jumping ship from EngLit to History. A chance discovery while writing my dissertation led to the writing of The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave Robbery in 1830s London, which was published in 2004.
I followed this up with The Blackest Streets: the Life and Death of a Victorian Slum in 2008.
My third book, Inconvenient People, came out in 2012.
I also teach 19th-century social history and fiction, and I lecture regularly on London history and the history of 19th-century mental health.
The Italian Boy won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.
The Blackest Streets was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize for evocation of a location/landscape.
Inconvenient People was shortlisted for the 2014 Wellcome Book Prize and was a book of the year in the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Guardian and Spectator.