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The Uttermost Farthing (a Savant's Vendetta)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Humphrey Challoner was a great savant spoiled by untimely wealth. When I knew him he had lapsed into a mere dilettante; at least, so I thought at the time, though subsequent revelations showed him in a rather different light. He had some reputation as a criminal anthropologist and had formerly been well known as a comparative anatomist, but when I made his acquaintance he ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published April 12th 2007 by (first published 1914)
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Apr 07, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
This Freeman work is not a Dr. Thorndyke mystery. Instead, it is the disturbing account of how a man wreaks vengeance on the miscreant who murdered his wife in a bungled robbery attempt. It also poses the question of how a moral society should deal with criminals.
International Cat Lady
This book was just.... odd. I've been enjoying reading R.A. Freeman's books (free on my Kindle) for the past few months - despite his tendency to blather on at times. While the other books of his that I have read were mysteries, this one wasn't. It was a narrative written by a man and left, after his death to his friend. The friend merely serves to introduce the story; the rest of what we read was written by the dead man - a seemingly normal fellow who turned to a life of vigilanti-ism after the ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Scilla rated it really liked it
After Humphrey Challoner finds his wife killed by the bullet of a robber in his home, he vows to catch the man. Mr. Challoner is a wealthy savant, and he saved the fingerprints of the robber as well as some of the robber's strange hair which Challoner's wife had in her hand. He has a private museum with a collection of both animal and human skeletons and shrunken heads. He leaves the museum and the archives to his doctor, who reveals the Museum Archives - the stories of how the skeletons were ac ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Latasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really liked this story! this is the 1st thing I've read by this author. I didn't know very much about this story going in. we meet Humphrey Challoner. he's dying and handling it very well. he has a very well cataloged collection of skeletons which he leaves to his dear friend(forgot his name!) the story is the reading of the catalogs for these skeletons. we learn where they came from. Challoner is very, very funny and clever. there was so many times I laughed during the reading. the s ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Apr 17, 2013 Marts (Thinker) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This tale isn't much of a mystery but the related events are a tad bit disturbing. Actually Mr. Humphrey Challoner is so angered by his wife's murder, that he vows to catch the person who did it and dedicates his life to this. However, Challoner ends up becoming a murderer himself and has a worrying hobby of 'preserving' his victims and carefully journaling his activities.
Aug 06, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it
Disturbing, grisly, and one of the creepiest books I've read, this is the story of a man's 20 year obsession with finding and disposing of his beloved wife's murderer. I listened to this as a free download from
Sep 25, 2011 alibrivoxfan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a public domain audiobook version available here from LibriVox.
Apr 16, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a forensic horror story than Freeman's "Dr. Thorndyke" detective stories. Still enjoyable, but extremely weird.
Feb 02, 2010 JoAnn rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Not so much of a mystery, but definitely disturbing.
Ramona Honan
Jun 21, 2011 Ramona Honan rated it really liked it
A fantastic book but rather disturbing. A cross between Sweeney Todd and the Charles Bronson Death Wish movies.
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Richard Freeman was born in Soho, London on 11 April 1862 and was the son of Ann Maria (nee Dunn) and Richard Freeman, a tailor. He was originally named Richard and later added the Austin to his name.

He became a medical trainee at Middlesex Hospital Medical College and was accepted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

He married Annie Elizabeth Edwards in 1887 and they had two sons and aft
More about R. Austin Freeman...

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“For the attitude of society towards the criminal appears to be that of a community of stark lunatics. In effect, society addresses the professional criminal somewhat thus: "' You wish to practice crime as a profession, to gain a livelihood by appropriating--by violence or otherwise--the earnings of honest and industrious men. Very well, you may do so on certain conditions. If you are skilful and cautious you will not be molested. You may occasion danger, annoyance and great loss to honest men with very little danger to yourself unless you are clumsy and incautious; in which case you may be captured. If you are, we shall take possession of your person and detain you for so many months or years. During that time you will inhabit quarters better than you are accustomed to; your sleeping-room will be kept comfortably warm in all weathers; you will be provided with clothing better than you usually wear; you will have a sufficiency of excellent food; expensive officials will be paid to take charge of you; selected medical men will be retained to attend to your health; a chaplain (of your own persuasion) will minister to your spiritual needs and a librarian will supply you with books. And all this will be paid for by the industrious men whom you live by robbing. In short, from the moment that you adopt crime as a profession, we shall pay all your expenses, whether you are in prison or at large.' Such is the attitude of society; and I repeat it is that of a community of madmen. ~ Humphrey Challoner” 0 likes
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