Italian Boy by Sarah Wise
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Italian Boy
By Sarah Wise

The Italian Boy

Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London

By (author) See other recent books by Sarah Wise
Format: Paperback

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Italian Boy by Sarah Wise

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2005.

Book Description

Towards the end of 1831, the authorities unearthed a series of crimes at Number 3, Nova Scotia Gardens in East London that appeared to echo the notorious Burke and Hare killings in Edinburgh three years earlier. After a long investigation, three bodysnatchers were put on trial for supplying the anatomy schools of London with suspiciously fresh bodies for dissection.They later became known as The London Burkers, and their story was dubbed 'The Italian Boy' case. The furore which led directly to the passing of controversial legislation which marked the beginning of the end of body snatching in Britain. In The Italian Boy, Sarah Wise not only investigates the case of the London Burkers but also, by making use of an incredibly rich archival store, the lives of ordinary lower-class Londoners. Here is a window on the lives of the poor - a window that is opaque in places, shattered in others but which provides an unprecedented view of low-life London in the 1830s.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781844133307
ISBN-10: 1844133303
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-May-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Sarah Wise

Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise Inconvenient People, Paperback / softback (July 2014)

Originally published: [London]: Bodley Head, 2012.

Blackest Streets by Sarah Wise Blackest Streets, Paperback (June 2009)

In 1887 Government inspectors were sent to investigate the Old Nichol, a notorious slum on the boundary of Bethnal Green parish. The author recovers Old Nichol from the ruins of history and lays bare the social and political conditions that created and sustained this black hole which lay at the very heart of the Empire.

» View all books by Sarah Wise


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Author Biography - Sarah Wise

Sarah took an MA in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her debut, The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave Robbery in 1830s London, was shortlisted for the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction, and her next work The Blackest Streets, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize. Her third book is Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England. Sarah was a major contributor to Iain Sinclair's compendium London, City of Disappearances. She has spoken on Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, Woman's Hour and the Today programme, and she regularly lectures to societies and at history events. She lives in central London.

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Recent books by Sarah Wise close
Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise
Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise
Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise
Blackest Streets by Sarah Wise
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