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The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892 (A Treasury of Victorian Murder)
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The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892 (Treasury of Victorian Murder)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  604 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
"Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one!" In this third volume of Geary's Treasury, the famous Lizzie Borden double murder is explored with as much attention to well -researched detail as in his Jack the Ripper. This is another celebrated murder of last century, the one that lead to the infamou ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by NBM Publishing (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 16, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it
Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

My dad used to recite that to me when I was a kid, (Yes, I know. My upbringing was not unlike that of Wednesday Addams...) so often in fact, that I thought HE was the one who'd made it up. According to this book, that charming children's rhyme came into being during Borden's well publicized trial.

Lizzie's step-mother was the first to die, with nineteen blows to the back of h
Seth T.
Nov 11, 2011 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
First, a badly-penned haiku review:

Clinical and dry,
Soulless, heartless recountment.
Just as it should be.

A Treasury of Victorian Murder: The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary

When an author hopes to present violent, violent history in a way that obscures entirely his own bias, he will most likely aim for a voice of narrative detachment. Thus cut off from the presence of the author’s overt guidance, readers are better able to take in the illusion that they are not being guided. That their experience of the history unfurling before them approaches objectivity.

2.5 stars - this is an illustrated re-telling of the Borden murders, and the trial of Lizzie Borden.

The illustrations weren't of a style I was overly fond of, but they were well done. All in black and white - but not something that would appeal to everyone, unless they had a particular interest in the subject.

I apparently do not have that interest - personally I found the text to be a bit on the dull side as well. It's a very precise, methodical re-telling, easy enough to read even if it's not
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
On August 4 1892, the bodies of Mr and Mrs Borden were found brutally murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts . Also in their house were Mr Borden's daughter Lizzie and their servant, Bridget Sullivan. Mrs Borden (Lizzie’s stepmother) was murdered first in her bedroom and then approximately 2 hours later Mr Borden was murdered in the sitting room. Both murders were carried out by a hatchet. Both Lizzie and Bridget were shocked at the murders but claimed not to have heard or seen anyt ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
In the past few years, I've taken to telling my friends I'm going to get married at the Lizzie Borden B&B in Fall River - and make my bridal party spend the night before the wedding in this haunted little inn. So it should come as no shock that I thoroughly enjoyed Geary's adaptation of this sensational Victorian murder.

The book is surprisingly balanced view of the days leading up to and preceding the murders of Andrew and Abby Bordern in their home on August 4, 1892. Those convinced of Lizz
Kari Ramirez
Jan 31, 2014 Kari Ramirez rated it liked it
This review is for 4 of Rick Geary's Victorian Murder Books: The Borden Tragedy, The Case of Madeleine Smith, The Beast of Chicago, and The Saga of the Bloody Benders.

Dry, fact-based accounts of some of the more notorious murderers in history. They read almost like textbooks. There is no creative license taken in any of these. While interesting, some get downright boring. The Bloody Benders was spent going on a history lesson of Kansas and of the guesstimations of where the Benders might have re
Katy Jane
Apr 21, 2015 Katy Jane rated it it was amazing
1. What's with the lines of the women's faces by their mouths?
2. I read The Axe-Man from New Orleans by this author so I decided to read more of his.
3. I also became interested in Lizzie Borden after watching the Lifetime movie about her.
4. The no hallways in the Borden house seems very weird to me, but come to think of it, I lived in a house with no hallways once. But there were only four rooms (bedroom, living room, kitchen, bath/laundry) so there was really no point in a hall.
5. I went and
Sep 26, 2015 Annie rated it really liked it
Geary's offbeat (quirky?) style of drawing and droll writing never fail to deliver. I have owned this book for years and read it when I bought it, but had to sit down and read it again yesterday when I saw it as I was cleaning up and rearranging in the library at home. Certainly not every book which you intend to flip through 'just a few pages' can suck you in so thoroughly that you finish them in one sitting, dusting cloth forgotten on the table in front of you! :P

I love the weird juxtaposition
Sep 02, 2008 Inge rated it liked it
I have to say that the most fascinating part of the book was the comparison between the OJ Simpson murders and the Borden murders.
Also, the Borden house had no hallways. Mr. Borden didn't believe in hallways. Who doesn't believe in hallways? The house was a two-floor maze of rooms.
Laura Gardner
Aug 11, 2008 Laura Gardner rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, graphic
I loved this slim graphic novel. It is based on the anonymous memoirs of one of Lizzie Borden's peers.
Mar 09, 2016 Juzy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Juzy by: Clemmie
No wonder people still talk about these murders! How is it possible to bludgeon to death two victims in two different rooms - in broad daylight - with people around? There was blood drenching the bodies, but no tracks or footprints going away from the bodies, and no splatter of blood on anyone's clothing. No weapon was found. (The hellish heat wave can make one cranky but come on!) A lot of negative emotions toward the Step-mama because she got a lot more whacks than dear old Dad. Could just one ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it
On August 4, 1892, the town of Fall River, Massachusetts, was shocked by the grisly murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. Andrew was a wealthy man married to his second wife and the father of 2 spinster daughters, Emma and Lizzie. Lizzie alerted the family maid to the murders after she saw her father's body slumped on the blood-soaked sofa in the sitting room; Abby's body lay in a pool of blood in her dressing room on the second floor of the Borden home. After the police finished their investigatio ...more
Nov 22, 2012 Artguy rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Beveridge
Rick Geary, The Borden Tragedy (Nantier Beall Minoustchine, 1997)

I've always been intrigued by Geary's Treasury of Victorian Murder, and I've read one in the past (his treatise on H. H. Homes, natch), but it took me quite a while to get round to my second dip into this particular pool. Now that I've read The Borden Tragedy, I have a firmer idea of why that is.

My main problem with the book (as it was with the last one) is the artwork. It's thick, heavy-handed, almost fuzzy in places. I got the i
Short but riveting comic that recounts the grisly and mysterious murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in Fall River, MA in 1892. Common lore has fingered Lizzie Borden, Andrew's youngest daughter, as the prime supsect, but the prosecution never gathered more than circumstanial evidence against her and she was acquitted a year later.

I didn't know much about the details of the case before reading this book and it was fascinating to learn how much we still don't (and will never know) about what happe
Rick Geary's style is so incredible. I genuinely cannot get enough of it! I also didn't know much about Lizzie Borden beyond the skipping rope rhyme (Lizzie Borden took an axe / And gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done / She gave her father forty-one.), but there is so much more to the story. I like how Geary adapted the first person diary for this comic. The language was perfect for telling the story and the images brought in the old-timey perspective and a modern eye. ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
This is another in the "Treasury of Victorian Murder" series. I actually did a report on Lizzie Borden in high school, so I knew many of the details of the case already, and this graphic novel did cover all of the details I remembered. It was slightly different from the factual telling of The Saga of the Bloody Benders in that the text is largely based on the memoirs of a Fall River woman who knew the Bordens. The memoirs seem to be the woman's method of figuring out the case on her own, althoug ...more
This graphic novel is part of the Victorian Murder Treasury and the best one of these books I have read so far. What makes this book so readable is the way it is told as though it was through the eyes of a local doing their own investigation. It presents the facts in a very clear and concise way and explains the different opinions on Lizzie Borden's innocence with the facts used to back them up. The book also includes several newspaper articles and notes from the trial to provide more historical ...more
Jan 31, 2010 Anton rated it liked it
Very engrossing and unsettling tale of true crime told in graphic novel form. Geary allows the uncanny and weirdly inconclusive details of the grisly 19th century axe murders to speak for themselves. What, for instance, is the significance of the fact that the house in which they occurred was designed without hallways in order to save space, that a snicker was heard from a stairway after the first murder took place, or that the bodies appear to have been purposefully arranged afterwards. None of ...more
Another good one from Rick Geary. The more I read about these murders I realize how far we have come in solving the crimes and how far our judicial system has come. Even though there are still innocent people going to jail. In this case the main suspect Lizzie may have gotten away with murder when she killed her own father and stepmother. How she planned it and how she could live with herself afterwards makes on curious.
May 08, 2016 sucker4synth rated it really liked it
Nice book in a series by Rick Geary on various infamous murders. The art was cool and fitting. The story was told in an easy to understand manner and was compelling. I loved the map included. I could find my house! (I could walk to the Borden house and have visited the Oak Grove cemetery plot.) Sparked my curiosity a bit more for the unsolved case that happened so close to me. Rick Geary does great work!
I have grown to love this series- and this was a particularly intriguing one. I have read and studied a great deal on the Borden murders, both from a historical/cultural side and from the paranormal side, so seeing him hit on some of the most obscure facts really tickled me. I love that he gets some of the tiniest details that even the big history channel shows miss... definately worth a read!

In general, I have enjoyed Rick Geary's artistic style, which mimics the old time art and yet retains mo
Whitney Garrett
Jun 21, 2014 Whitney Garrett rated it really liked it
I've always been fascinated by the Lizzie Borden case, and I really enjoyed reading this little graphic novel about it. It gave all the details of the crime scene, the trial, and the evidence, presenting it without undue bias and letting the readers draw their own conclusions. It was definitely a fascinating case.
Jun 05, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Normally, I'm not one to read true crime or serial killer type books, but Geary intrigues me. His art stands out in the age of high polish for its almost wood-cut quality of line. It's not in your face and it fits his subject matter so well since his characters carry more weight given the depth through which they are rendered. Since I've only a passing familiarity with Lizzie Borden and her "40 whacks," (which are presented as dubious in this book), I found the story fascinating. The various inc ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Stacy rated it really liked it
This visual account of the Borden murders can be difficult to read, with the small print and the thick line. The author includes the basic story as well as some interesting facts; he did, however, end the story with a drawing of Lizzie's grave, which reads "Lizbeth," but never explains her name change.
Jul 07, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, crime
This is about the infamous Borden killings, from 1892. This is part of the Treasury of Victorian Murder series. Surprisingly, I have never read anything about the ax-wielding Lizzie. It is very well-illustrated and nicely written.
Mike Aragona
Mar 23, 2011 Mike Aragona rated it liked it
Shelves: all
I can't say I'm up to date on all famous Murders, especially when I read a tale like this one that proves it :) I had heard the name Lizzy Borden before, but not the story around it. Here, Rick Geary gives us the tale of the brutal murder of Lizzie's Father and Stepmother as adapted from the authenticated journal of an unidentified woman. The story and events are fascinating. The artwork is of (what I consider) an old Victorian/ engraving-type format which works wonderfully for this tale. Overal ...more
Jun 23, 2014 Bonsai rated it it was ok
Disappointing. Could have been really excellent if the details in the text were as accurate as those in the artwork. Significantly marred by myth and misinformation instead.
Jun 23, 2014 Carole rated it it was ok
I don't generally read graphic novels but I needed to read one for a Book Blanket Bingo square. It's not my thing but it was okay and it was fast to read, at least.
Jun 27, 2015 Carson added it
Still am indecisive about Lizzie's guilt. Anything by Rick Geary is astounding, especially his true crime stories which are for the most part unbiased and present all theories. There's also a floor plan of the crime scene in great detail. The first I read by Geary was Whitechapel Murders and since then, I have not stopped reading him.
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RICK GEARY was born in 1946 in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Wichita,
Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where his first cartoons were published in the University Daily Kansan. He worked as staff artist for two weekly papers in Wichita before moving to San Diego in 1975.

He began work in comics in 1977 and was for thirteen years a contributor to the Funny Pages of
More about Rick Geary...

Other Books in the Series

Treasury of Victorian Murder (9 books)
  • Jack the Ripper: A Journal of the Whitechapel Murders 1888-1889
  • The Fatal Bullet: The Assassination of James A. Garfield
  • The Mystery of Mary Rogers
  • The Beast of Chicago: An Account of the Life and Crimes of Herman W. Mudgett, Known to the World As H.H. Holmes
  • The Murder of Abraham Lincoln
  • The Case of Madeleine Smith (A Treasury Of Victorian Murder)
  • The Saga of the Bloody Benders
  • A Treasury of Victorian Murder

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