Today I have a review of The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson. This book is available now from Simon and Schuster! Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the invitation to review!
Cara Robertson spent twenty years researching Lizzie Borden’s case, and this is her first book. The depth and breadth to this research shows immediately making this a resource for anyone interested in this trial, one of mythic proportions in the United States, still well-known and pondered over one hundred and twenty years later.
Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered in 1892, and shocking everyone, their daughter Lizzie was arrested and charged.
The trial became international news and a spectacle that the United States hadn’t known at the time. Reporters traveled from all over to attend the trial. Lizzie was scrutinized from every angle possible. And not unlike today, every citizen possessed an opinion on what really happened.
Cara Robertson heavily researched everything she could obtain regarding the Bordens and the trial, including court transcripts, newspaper articles, local information, and fascinatingly, letters from Lizzie herself.
My favorite aspects of the book included the commentary on the culture of society at the time. Some purport Lizzie was found innocent simply because society couldn’t believe that women were capable of murder. It also showcased the fever pitch, not unlike today’s time, where everyone rushes to judgment before a trial. While the book is rich in details, I never found it overbearing because I was so enthralled with examining the case through my own amateur lens.
At the end of the book, I’m not sure if Lizzie was guilty or not, and I had every piece of information laid out in front of me, even more so that than those at the trial at the time! Also of note is all the pictures included. They added to my understanding of the place and time and thoroughly enriched my reading experience.
If you are as enthralled with the trial of Lizzie Borden as many in this country have been for over one-hundred years, check this one out. No stone is left unturned by Cara Robertson!
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
The remarkable new account of an essential piece of American mythology—the trial of Lizzie Borden—based on twenty years of research and recently unearthed evidence.
The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone—rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople—had an opinion about Lizzie Borden’s guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn’t she?
The popular fascination with the Borden murders and its central enigmatic character has endured for more than one hundred years. Immortalized in rhyme, told and retold in every conceivable genre, the murders have secured a place in the American pantheon of mythic horror, but one typically wrenched from its historical moment. In contrast, Cara Robertson explores the stories Lizzie Borden’s culture wanted and expected to hear and how those stories influenced the debate inside and outside of the courtroom. Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.
Have you read The Trial of Lizzie Borden, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR