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The Trial of Lizzie Borden

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  4,581 ratings  ·  1,015 reviews
When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August of 1892, the arrest of the couple’s daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was rele ...more
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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Lisa R I don't think she did it.…moreI don't think she did it.(less)

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May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson is a 2019 Simon & Schuster publication.

As unsolved murders go, this is THE case that puzzles me the most. For many it’s Jack the Ripper, whose violent killing spree has been poured over and analyzed six ways from Sunday. But, in the late 1800s, a gentle spinster lady goes on trial for the horrible double homicide of her step-mother and father.

This is a crime that took place in broad daylight, the murders occurring over an hour apart, with Lizzie and
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
"The trial of Lizzie Borden, according to the Providence Journal, would be 'one of the greatest murder trials in the world's history' The New York World more modestly declared it 'the trial of the most extraordinary criminal case in the history of New England.'"

Most people have heard the 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.
**In reality Abby was hit 19 times and Andrew hit 10 or 11 times.

“Someone’s killed Fat
Linda eyes drawn to bright shiny objects.

Even after one hundred and more years, the world can't seem to get enough of the infamous murder case involving Lizzie Borden of Fall River, Massachusetts.

It's August of 1892 and the town is sweltering in the heat of summer. The Borden family live in a two-story wooden house near the downtown area. Andrew Borden remarried in 1865 after the death of his first wife, Sarah. Sarah was the mother of Lizzie and her older sister, Emma. Emma promis
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thorough compendium on the topic of Lizzie Borden’s trial! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Cara Robertson spent twenty years researching Lizzie Borden’s case, and this is her first book. The depth and breadth to this research shows immediately making this a resource for anyone interested in this trial, one of mythic proportions in the United States, still well-known and pondered over one hundred and twenty years later.

Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered in 1892, and shocking everyone, their daughter Li
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

I have always been fascinated by this case in particular. Cara Roberston did a great job of going over the facts in an exciting and intriguing way. My one complaint was that at times she would seem like she was trying to be funny but it didn't quite fit the mood. For instance, she used the word "mansplaining" which in another book wouldn't have been an issue but in this one, it just didn't fit. Other than that,
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
In August of 1892, horrific dual murders occurred in the home of Andrew and Abby Borden in Fall Rivers, Massachusetts. At some point on the morning of the murders, while Abby was making the bed in an upstairs bedroom, someone approached and struck her 19 times in the head with a hatchet. About an hour or so later, the killer entered the home's living room where Andrew was napping on the sofa and bludgeoned him to death as well. These gruesome murders ultimately led police to arrest the youngest ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Lizzie Borden took an axe...gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done...gave her father 41" ~Playground chant

In August 1892, the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, MA created a media frenzy. Their daughter, Lizzie, was arrested for the crime and put on trial. The murder trial was an instant sensation. At the time, nobody could believe a woman would hack her father and stepmother to death with an axe.

After more than 120 years, many still wonder.....

Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A solid 4 stars. Lizzie Borden has always been a fascinating person-with the various books, shows, and movies based on her life, she is still someone that people find interesting even in present time. I found The Trial of Lizzie Borden to be an interesting and compelling book. For those who may not know, Lizzie Borden was accused of killing her father and stepmother by hacking them to death with an axe. An absolutely horrific crime, but especially in the late 1890s. I found The Trial of Lizzie B ...more
Katie B
I'll admit I'm pretty disappointed I didn't like this book more because true crime is one of my favorite genres. My 3 stars might be a tad generous because I was bored for so many of the chapters revolving around the trial. It's a well-researched book, but it reads more like a textbook than interesting nonfiction.

So I only knew some of the very basics about Lizzie Borden and the murders and that's why I wanted to read this book. For those of you unfamiliar to the case, way back in the late 1800s
Valerity (Val)
The Trial of Lizzie Borden

This is a book that delves into the story of Lizzie Borden and the murders of her father Andrew and step-mother Abby. But it mostly focuses on the trial after the murders, once she’s been held and it’s been found that there is supposedly enough evidence against her to bind her over, and a grand jury has filed a true bill. This is a good retelling of the facts of the murders and Lizzie’s arrest and time in jail, especially the trial afterward. It’s very detailed and give
Diane S ☔
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
3.5 thoughts soon.
Kristy K
Mar 25, 2019 rated it 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."

2.5 Stars

Sadly, my knowledge of Lizzie Borden was basically the rhyme above. As a true crime aficionado, it was always on my list to read about the Borden murders. Obviously, I should have read about them sooner as I believed that she was a child when the crimes were committed and that she was found guilty. (Neither are true, and my ignorance shames me, I must say.)

The Trial is
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The truth is, I don't have much to say. This book bored me to tears.

While I admire the time and research involved in the making of this biography, it was incredibly dry. I literally had to force myself to pick it up and keep reading. Admittedly, nonfiction isn't typically my genre of choice, but the Lizzie Borden story has fascinated me for years. I was genuinely curious about this latest installment which offered a new glimpse into her infamous life. The included pictures were a very nice t
Jammin Jenny
I really enjoyed this novel that provides a fairly detailed account of the actual trial of Lizzie Borden who was accused of murdering her father and step-mother in cold blood using an axe. It was interesting to see the way the trial came about, and the evidence brought forth both against her and in support of her. I tend to think she probably did it, but can see why she was acquitted for the crime. Very interesting narrative.
Very detailed account of evidence.
Horribly boring audiobook narrator.
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was impressed by the amount of research that obviously went in to this book. Beforehand I had only heard bits & pieces of the case, so i went in interested in learning about what had actually happened (the best anyone could tell anyway.) My only warning would be that there isn't much "story telling" in this book. It's straight to the point- some brief family background, the crime, the trial, and briefly about the future. I did respect the fact that the author did not let on to his personal opi ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Most people are familiar with the murder that Lizzie Borden was accused of as there have been numerous books and movies based on it. In August of 1892, Lizzie’s father and stepmother were brutally murdered in their home. Lizzie was accused of the murder and the trial became a sensationalized spectacle. People then and now all have different opinions of what happened that day in Fall River, Massachusetts. Was Lizzie a guilty murderess or was she wrongly accused?

I have read many accounts of this
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs
The writing is a little dry but for me, this was a fascinating read.

I saw the title and thought at first it was historical fiction (whoops haha). The length had me a little wary too. "Can this really fill up an entire book? .
No worries there in case anyone else is wondering.

Imagine being in the courtroom and watching all of this unfold. Not gonna lie, if time travel was possible, this would be one of the times I would travel back too (along with hearing Lincoln speak). It is just one of those
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Definitely a very interesting read that was well put together in a readable way.
Deanne Patterson
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fall River,Massachusetts 1892 it is a bustling town with the usual shops,churches and neighborly visits. Those who could afford it had servants and lived up on the hill. While the Borden family did have domestic help, an Irish woman named Bridget they did not live on the hill and Lizzie resented this. The household consisted on Andrew Borden,his second wife Abby Borden, his two spinster daughters Emma and Lizzie and the domestic help Bridget.
This is author Cara Robertson's first book and she do
Nancy Oakes
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm going with 4.5 here -- although I was worried about it since I haven't been impressed with a number of books on the topic, it turned out to be a good one.

In The Trial of Lizzie Borden, just so we're clear, the author does not endeavour to solve the mystery of who killed Abby and Andrew Borden, but rather to peel away the sort of mythical elements of this story and get down to realities of the crimes, the investigation, the trial and its aftermath. At
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very informative about the Borden trial. Shows what living in the time period would be like. Has some comments from journalists. The remarks about her demeanor, and mood changes. The courtroom antics where fascinating a drama at it's most dramatic. Most of the book is of the trial, which is something I hadn't read much about before. If you're interested in learning about the Borden trial I recommend this book.
Thank you to the publishers for an early review copy
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pillar of this book is a comprehensive research, and author didn’t just dissect the trial into day to day events, but she also gave them the frame in interesting social study of this era. If you are looking for something more in true crime books, then this book is for you!
Dez Nemec
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

On August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were both brutally murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. After an investigation and inquest, which included her own testimony, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged for the murder of Andrew Borden only. (This was later amended to add Abby Borden). What followed was the biggest US trial to date. Reporters were everywhere,
Jessica White
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it

That's what I've always said about Lizzie Borden.

That being said, reading the actual transcripts from her trial is incredibly aggravating.
Fall River Police BOTCHED this investigation.

Now that may just be my Criminal Justice/Forensics background coming out.
But honestly, there was no way in hell the jury could have found her guilty with the information that was presented to them. I honestly understand why so many people believe she's not guilty.

I, however, still think she is.

She had mo
BAM Endlessly Booked
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
My thanks go to Cara Robertson, Simon and Schuster, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
After twenty years of research Robertson has written an intricately woven narrative of Borden's day's before and during her trial. I'm just saying she's guilty, but so many people disagree about this crime even readers of this book. There is no doubt that Lizzie held great animosity toward her stepmother. She also had a taste for the highlife. But how angry does on
Donna Davis
“Oh, Mrs. Churchill, do come over. Someone has killed father.”

Lizzie Borden is the subject of one of America’s most enduring legends, and Robertson is a towering legal scholar, educated at Harvard and Oxford, and then at Stanford Law. She’s participated in an international tribunal dealing with war crimes, and has been researching the Borden case for twenty years. Here she lays it out for us, separating fact from innuendo, and known from unknown. My thanks go to Simon and Schuster and Net Galley
Janelle Janson
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many thanks Simon and Schuster for my free copy of THE TRIAL OF LIZZIE BORDEN by Cara Robertson

I love reading true crime and have always been fascinated by Lizzie Borden. I’ve read several books, watched movies and TV shows, but this is the first nonfiction book I’ve read. It’s right in my wheelhouse and I loved all of it.

Lizzie Borden lived a short life from 1860 to 1927. She was accused of the murder of her father and stepmother, who were hacked to death with an axe. While Lizzie wasn’t close
Elizabeth A.G.
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thorough and well researched look into the famous, unsolved mystery of the murders of Abby and Andrew Borden and the trial of stepdaughter/daughter, Lizzie Borden. Cara Robertson's telling of this horrific crime includes a look into the personalities of the principal characters; the police procedurals that could be defined as blundering; the prosecutional and defense legal arguments; the fascination of the "Gilded Age" public that swarmed the scene of the crime, mobbed outside the street and gro ...more
I really wanted to love this one ... as a huge fan of true crime, I was so excited to see this was coming out. Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me. I loved the pieces about the crime and the people who were involved in the case but a large component of the book was a moment by moment synopsis of the trial (hence the title). Unfortunately, I didn't find those pieces particularly compelling. A lot of great information but I didn't find that it was pulled together to be particularly compelli ...more
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Cara Robertson is a lawyer whose writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, the Raleigh News and Observer, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. She was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Law School. A former Supreme Court law clerk, she served as a legal adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law Sch ...more

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Histories, biographies, memoirs, essays, science, technology, true crime, self-help, how-tos, and so on: The world of nonfiction is vast and...
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“an aged man and an aged woman are suddenly and brutally assassinated. It was a terrible crime. It was an impossible crime. But it was committed.” 1 likes
“The notion that a crime could be clearly gendered was rooted in European models of criminology, but such models of criminality struggled to account for a female criminal. Within the prevailing models of the human mind, women were seen as somewhat less evolved than men and with a corresponding lack of rational control over their actions—barely protected from their underlying degeneracy by male control, especially over their sexuality.” 1 likes
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