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Love and Madness: The Murder of Martha Ray, Mistress of the Fourth Earl of Sandwich
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Love and Madness: The Murder of Martha Ray, Mistress of the Fourth Earl of Sandwich

2.7  ·  Rating details ·  82 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In eighteenth-century England the aristocracy dominated the imagination, their exploits -- and misdeeds -- discussed, debated, and gossiped about in the salons and parlors of London. Now author Martin Levy vividly re-creates one of the most shocking and scandalous events of the period, in a riveting true tale of passion, obsession, murder, and courtroom drama.

On a spring e
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2004)
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Sarah Wagner
This book highlights the eighteenth-century murder of an earl's mistress and the maddening love which led to it. The author delves into the lives of Martha Ray, the Earl of Sandwich, and Martha's murderer James Hackman. Hackman had been rebuffed in his marriage proposal to Martha, an event he was ultimately unable to accept and led to his murder of Martha and attempted suicide. A fascinating insight into this case and how the 18th-century society viewed love, madness, and execution.
Dawn Ashenbrenner
Wasn't very compelling. As others have mentioned, it was written like a dissertation. I did like the chapter on the history of love sickness, in fact I think a whole book on that subject would be great!
Caro Kinkead
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography, 2015
Interesting subject, but dry going. Great for information or those researching the period, but not for light reading.
Tristan Robin Blakeman
This short book was interesting. A dissertation on an 18th century murder that captured the fancy of London society and was the topic of many articles at the time. The murder of a singer, the mistress of the Earl of Sandwich, being murdered by a clergyman who was in love with her was as tantalizing a piece of criminal gossip then as it would be today.

I very much liked that this was *not* a novelization of the case. There are no made up conversations or internal monologues of the participants pre
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-read
This book was carefully researched, but in the end, it just wasn't all that interesting. The author didn't tell the story in a way that made the time period come to life or that made me care about the Earl of Sandwich or his murdered mistress all that much. Perhaps someone with more of an interest in the time period would be more intrigued.
Kit Kincade
It is weird to randomly choose to read two books in a relatively short period of time about the same topic that contradict each other. John Brewer's book on the subject I find more compelling than this one, and I wonder if this would be the case if I had picked up this one first.
Irene Grysiewicz
even though religiously researched, Levy is ultimately successful in detailing the unfortunate role of women in the 1770s London. I personally found interesting the chapter on public hangings during this time and the subsequent anatomical "research" afterwards.
Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A scholarly work, like a dissertation-expanded
Vickie Sigler
Not an easy read, but an interesting story.
Jennifer C Shanburn
rated it liked it
May 15, 2017
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