A shocking tale of greed and family betrayal
In August 1780 Sir Theodosius Boughton, a dissolute Old Etonian twenty-year-old and heir to a Warwickshire fortune, died in painful convulsions after taking his medicine. The following year after an inquest and trial which became a cause celebre, his brother-in-law, Captain John'Diamond'Donellan, Irish soldier of fortune and man about town, was tried for his murder. The trial was a shambles. Was Donellan guilty?Based on extensive research and the engrossing trial transcripts Elizabeth Cooke's book shows the dark and violent underside of the society ofMansfield Park.
Elizabeth Cooke has been writing for over twenty years under the name Elizabeth McGregor and has published ten novels:Little White Lieswas televised by the BBC and inThe Ice Childshe turned to a historical theme for the first time with the story of the Franklin expedition.She lives in Dorset.
'A masterpiece of well-founded suspicions based on first-hand evidence', Iain Finlayson, The Times
'A fascinating account of a Georgian cause celebre ... just as Kate Summerscale did brilliantly inThe Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Cooke focuses on legal procedure and forensic evidence to gripping effect', Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday
'I read this with great enjoyment. The author has produced a forensically detailed examination of a murder with a witty picture of the social world of the gentry at the end of the eighteenth century. Her eye and ear for the period are unerring. A delight.', Judith Flanders, The Invention of Murder
'Highly readable ... gripping', Daily Express