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3 people found this helpful
I'm still glad that I read this and if you are at ...
on 30 October 2014
This book isn't quite what it appears to be from the title and fly leaf description. What it is, is an incredibly well written account of the developments in toxicology in the Victorian age, focussing particularly on the quest for a reliable test for arsenic. This is then wrapped around an account of a domestic Victorian poisoning. Where this book falls down is in its tendency to deviate from the point and provide too much information that isn't directly relevent to the main point. In providing detailed biographies of both major and minor characters as well as potted histories of any element barely touched upon the reader can sometimes feel unsure about what the actual point of the book is. The amount of research that went into this is obviously vast and the writing style does manage to keep things accessible but there is sometimes the feeling that the writer is trying to make the most of a thin story by extensive use of padding. I'm still glad that I read this and if you are at all interested in the era or the subject then I would still recommend you read this. Just don't expect too much about any one thing. It bounces around too much.