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Watson's Apology Hardcover – 4 Oct 1984


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd; First Edition edition (4 Oct 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715619357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715619353
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on 19 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
Ms. Bainbridge has taken well-known bits of History and placed her mark on them. When she has done this the degree of familiarity you may have had with the event is forever altered. Previously I have enjoyed her version of events that were famous and or notorious; however this time her subject is one that was completely unknown. Further, it was not even a remarkable story, albeit a true one, until Ms. Bainbridge decided to complete all that might have happened which was a larger piece of the known story. History recorded only the results and consequences never the cause.

This is not the Watson of literary fame that spent his time sleuthing with the great Sherlock Holmes. This man is as ordinary as the afore-mentioned were extraordinary, and he only rose to average when at his best. The story is based on a true crime of the late 19th Century and one that is committed in this country on a daily basis. This part is important for the Author takes an event that is anything but momentous and makes it an excellent read. Further she ventures into social and moral commentary that is valid and argued to this day.

The Reverend Watson commits a hideous crime, not even he contests this fact. What no one can account for is why the act took place and what his state of mind was when committing it. The writer supplies a multiple decade history of what might have happened, inclusive of the briefest of alleged dialogue.

The triumph here is a novel that utilizes a host of documents and court transcripts together with letters to a variety of newspapers. But they are only a part, almost addenda to what Ms. Bainbridge adds. It is as though she was given only an answer and wrote a thesis on the question.

This is another wonderful work by a writer who is consistently excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
They drove each other NUTS! 9 May 2001
By Charles Slovenski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
This book is a real gem. The pleasure of reading it works in several ways. First, the Victorian period is evoked with stifling and dingy clarity; second, the character flaws and clashes between both Watson and his wife are drawn naturally and unsparingly; and finally, because the murder and its consequences are tightly and thrillingly narrated. It's such a page-turner that I can't understand why it hasn't been a hit on any continent (I found it at a used book seller's in London).
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Very Different Watson 31 May 2001
By taking a rest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ms. Bainbridge has taken well-known bits of History and placed her mark on them. When she has done this the degree of familiarity you may have had with the event is forever altered. Previously I have enjoyed her version of events that were famous and or notorious, however this time her subject is one that was completely unknown. Further it was not even a remarkable story albeit a true one until Ms. Bainbridge decided to complete all that might have happened which was a larger piece of the known story. History recorded only the results and consequences never the cause.
This is not the Watson of literary fame that spent his time sleuthing with the great Sherlock Holmes. This man is as ordinary as the afore mentioned were extraordinary, and he only rose to average when at his best. The story is based on a true crime of the late 19th Century and one that is committed in this country on a daily basis. This part is important for the Author takes an event that is anything but momentous and makes it an excellent read. Further she ventures into social and moral commentary that is valid and argued to this day.
The Reverend Watson commits a hideous crime, not even he contests this fact. What no one can account for is why the act took place and his state of mind when committing it. The writer supplies a multiple decade history of what might have happened inclusive of the briefest of alleged dialogue.
The triumph here is a novel that utilizes a host of documents and court transcripts together with letters to a variety of newspapers. But they are only a part, almost addenda to what Ms. Bainbridge adds. It is as though she was given only an answer and wrote a thesis on the question.
This is another wonderful work by a writer who is consistently excellent.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Victoriana 14 April 2002
By sweetmolly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Stockwell- October 12,1871 - Classics scholar John Selby Watson, 67, bludgeons to death wife of thirty years---
These are the bare bones of a factual crime that Ms. Bainbridge weaves her tale around. The story begins with Watson and Anne Armstrong's courtship in December 1844 and takes us through their outwardly quiet, but inwardly evolving marriage for the next 27 years. I am convinced this murder could only have taken place in the peculiarly repressive Victorian era. Ms. Bainbridge does a masterful job of placing us in that period; from the household to the clothes they wore to the transportation of the times.
Mr. and Mrs. Watson were a match made in hell, both to be pitied. John was an inward-looking, introspective, self-sufficient, gentle (yes, gentle!) person. Anne was intelligent, needy, histrionic, and highly intuitive. She literally and calculatedly drove him mad because of her disappointed expectations.
The last third of the book was devoted to actual trial excerpts. I could have used less of these, as many were repetitious. However, I found it interesting that the defense was clearly angling toward a temporary insanity plea. Edward Stanton, later Lincoln's Secretary of War, defending Congressman Dan Sickles, later Union General, in a scandalous trial, first successfully used this defense in the United States in 1859. Sickles shot and killed the son of Francis Scott Key on the steps of the White House for Keys' improper attentions to Sickles' wife. Sickles was acquitted. From the transcripts of Watson's trial, you can tell this was a new and extraordinary defense in England twelve years later.
Ms. Bainbridge is the type of writer you would like to corner and ask, "What made you think this, write in this particular way, and where in the world do your ideas come from?" She is, as always, fascinating.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
They drove each other NUTS! 9 May 2001
By Charles Slovenski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a real gem. The pleasure of reading it works in several ways. First, the Victorian period is evoked with stifling and dingy clarity; second, the character flaws and clashes between both Watson and his wife are drawn naturally and unsparingly; and finally, because the murder and its consequences are tightly and thrillingly narrated. It's such a page-turner that I can't understand why it hasn't been a hit on any continent (I found it at a used book seller's in London).
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