Friday, 1 December 2006
Dover - Murder & Crime by Janet Cameron
Tempus Publishing (2006) £8.99
Those who fell foul of the law in Kent faced a horrible fate, some were thrown to their deaths from the top of Dover's iconic white cliffs, while others were hanged, quartered, burnt or buried alive, yet still the criminal fraternity of Kent went undeterred.
This fascinating book contains tales of thwarted rivals and wicked soldiers, desperate mothers, licentious monks and disreputable women. From the highwayman caught when his wig snagged on a branch to the killer who confessed when the police found silver coins hidden in his underwear, here is a survey of crimes ranging from murders most foul to salacious waltzing and 'having an evil demeanour'.
There are chapters on witchcraft, smuggling, wrecking, press gangs, highwaymen, poachers and sheepstealers, immorality, yob culture, shootings, fraud and mutinies.
'These personal stories demonstate the darkest side of the human character, but they also offer glimpses of the resourcefulness and, ultimately, the development of ordinary people that sometimes culminates in acts of great compassion and heroism. If we only look at the 'nice' side of life, then I think we are only half a person, because we are all, deep inside, a mixture of dark and light in varying degrees - like the world we live in, past, present and future.' (Janet Cameron.)
With more than 50 photos and illustrations, this chilling catalogue of murderous misdeeds is bound to captivate anyone interested in the criminal history of the area.
Dover - Murder & Crime is available from good East Kent bookshops or by using the Tempus Publishing website address above. If you would like a signed copy direct from the author, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org