By Laura Thompson
On 7 November 1974, a nanny named Sandra Rivett was once bludgeoned to demise in a Belgravia basement. A moment lady, Veronica, Countess of Lucan, used to be additionally attacked. the fellow named in court docket as culprit of those crimes, Richard John Bingham, seventh Earl of Lucan, disappeared within the early hours of the subsequent morning. The case, solved within the eyes of the legislations, has retained its fascination ever since.
Laura Thompson, acclaimed biographer of Agatha Christie, narrates the tale that led as much as that cataclysmic occasion, and attracts on her enormous forensic talents to re-evaluate the potential truths in the back of considered one of postwar Britain's so much infamous murders. a unique type OF homicide is a portrait of an period, of a unprecedented solid of characters, of a secret, of a contemporary fable. half social background, half detective tale, it tells in masterly variety one of many nice stories of our collective dwelling memory.
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Additional resources for A Different Class of Murder
Mayhem is screened behind the polite formality of door, brick and window. This is the paradox that enlivens English murder, and makes it the stuff of Agatha Christie and the Cluedo board: Lord Lucan, in the kitchen, with the lead piping. And 46 Lower Belgrave Street has added totemic value, because its façade is all the more impenetrable, because it stands within the white island of London, because earls do not commit domestic murder. It is the place where the domestic murder became magnified, by contact with a world in which it did not belong.
Edith Thompson dreamed of leaving her husband, but did not dare because she feared the loss of respectability. So again the answer was murder. Murder, all too often, was what happened when alternative action was too expensive. No such cataclysm was necessary when the future 2nd Earl of Lucan fell in love with the wife of the future 12th Duke of Norfolk, formerly Lady Elizabeth Belasyse, a daughter of the Earl of Fauconberg. Freedom, in such circles, could be bought. Lady Elizabeth obtained a divorce in 1794 and married the Hon.
In 1680 he was found guilty of murder, and received a royal pardon. His status as an earl clearly brought him an outrageous degree of favour. This did not extend to every aristocrat: three have been hanged for murder in the last 500 years. Yet Pembroke’s treatment was far more typical. So too was the nature of his crimes. Both the deaths for which he was indicted were the product of boredom, booze and a belief that he could do whatever he liked at any given moment and too bad if somebody got hurt along the way.
A Different Class of Murder by Laura Thompson