Book Description: Nineteenth century Huntingdonshire had its fair share of mischief-makers and murderers, victims and villains, litigation and larceny, triumph and tragedy. Just as it is today, there have always been motives and circumstances strong enough to bring individuals to the wrong side of the law, and, likewise, the law has been ready to meet it. This is not to say that punishment has always matched the crime; whilst stealing a few sheep may gain you transportation for life, or worse, death, starving one’s own child may net you at most a few months in prison.
Drawing from local records, and supported by a deep contextual understanding, Trying Neighbours collects the stories of real people often caught in unreal situations. These are the stories of a gaoler, locked up in his own prison; a young woman, suing her fiancé for breach of his marriage promise; a thief falling asleep in the house he was supposed to be robbing; a son’s violent actions against his parents in the dead of night, and slick lawyers, wriggling through loopholes. This collection is a wealth of anecdote, but also a social history of criminality, the culture that allowed it, and the systems that punished it in the nineteenth century.
Often heart-breaking, often ridiculous, always entertaining, Trying Neighbours brings together the most interesting cases Huntingdonshire has seen: arson, rioting, suicide, murder, theft, elopement, imposture, fraud and vote tampering, with the odd egg theft and neighbourly spat thrown in.
Publisher: The Choir Press
Height (mm): 229
Width (mm): 152
Author(s): Marion Palmann