The wicked boy The mystery of a Victorian child murderer

Kate Summerscale, 1965-

Book - 2016

In East London in the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age thirteen) and his brother Nattie (age twelve) were arrested for matricide and sent for trial at the Old Bailey. Robert confessed to having stabbed his mother, but his lawyers argued that he was insane. The judge sentenced him to detention in Broadmoor, the most infamous criminal lunatic asylum in the land. Shockingly, Broadmoor turned out to be the beginning of a new life for Robert. At a time of great tumult and uncertainty, Robert's case crystallized contemporary anxieties about the education of the working classes, the dangers of pulp fiction, and evolving theories of criminality, childhood, and insanity. With riveting detail and rich atmosphere, Summerscale re-creates this terrible crime and its aftermath, uncovering an extraordinary story of man's capacity to overcome the past. --

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True crime stories
New York : Penguin Press 2016.
Item Description
First published in Great Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing.
Physical Description
378 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 309-360) and index.
Main Author
Kate Summerscale, 1965- (author)