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The Cock Lane Ghost: Murder, Sex and Haunting in Dr. Johnson's London Paperback – 8 Mar 2006
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My recommendations start with the unusual case of The Cock Lane Ghost. -- Publishing News, 21 October, 2005
Sex, murder and blackmail, a leading author uncovers the scandal that gripped 18th century London. -- The Daily Express, 30 March, 2006
Thanks to its enthralling details and preposterous goings-on, it reads like a novel. -- The Independent, 24 April, 2006
The research that has been put into this book is astounding... I would recommend it highly. -- Vision, July, 2006
This is a wonderfully written book of a fascinating topic. -- Our Time in Staffordshire, May, 2006
A joke's a very serious thing - Charles Churchill, "The Ghost", 1762/3. "The Cock Lane Ghost" is the true story of a series of events that took place in London in the 1760s. Businessman, William Kent fell foul of a powerful Norfolk family when he eloped with their daughter, Frances Lynes. The couple fled to London and took lodging in Cock Lane. When Frances died, a mysterious ghostly conspiracy against Kent began, gathering so much momentum that it almost led to him being hung for murder. At the heart of the affair was a story of sexual infatuation, conspiracy, accusations of murder and rape and the alleged return of the victim from beyond the grave to point out her killer. The case aroused huge popular curiosity, was subject to the insatiable spinning of London's early newspaper industry and ultimately involved figures such as Dr Samuel Johnson. Paul Chambers brings to life the story of the Cock Lane ghost - a scandal whose effect on society was such that the term Cock Lane was still synonymous with folly, superstition and corruption 150 years later.See all Product description
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Chambers treats this true story in a novel-like fashion, unfolding the plot in chronological order. That said, he still manages to keep it factually correct and does not stray too far into the realm of speculation. The copious notes at the end of the book list his sources in minute detail; this is a nice touch and adds academic weight to the book.
In summary, I found this to be an easy and engaging read that was difficult to put down. The story and its cast of eccentric characters are fantastic. Highly recommended.
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