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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master, and the Trial that Shocked a Country

In my mailbox yesterday, the latest from the Osgoode Society: The Massey Murder, by award-winning non-fiction writer Charlotte Gray. Those familiar with the Osgoode Society's publications will see immediately that this is not our usual style. It's more 'popular' than academic history. This is not to say that it is not the result of excellent research. Merely that while there is a note on sources and an index, there are no footnotes, even for dialogue which the author has reproduced from newspapers and other sources, and there is some creative licence taken. Says the author, "I imagine, but I do not invent....I speculate and I interpret...I do so cautiously, and only when I am confident that I am more likely to be right than wrong..." (xv-xvi). Less value for professional historians than a more conventional treatment would have afforded, but a darn good read for everyone.

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