WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Judith Flanders: "The Invention Of Murder"

Murder was incredibly rare in Victorian England. In 1810, only 15 people were convicted of the crime in England and Wales, out of a population of 10 million. But even though homicide was infrequent, the British became obsessed with these often gory crimes. Throughout the 19th century, Judith Flanders, author of "The Invention Of Murder," says true murder stories seeped into all forms of popular entertainment, from the absurd like wax museums and “murder tourism" to the theater, novels and detective stories we love today. Author Judith Flanders joins guest host Frank Sesno to talk about the evolution of the real -- and fictional -- crime story.

Read An Excerpt

From "Invention of Murder" by Judith Flanders. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC

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