Lady of the Lake's Reviews > Newes from the Dead

Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper
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Oct 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, based-on-historical-event, 1650, england, young-adult

I loved that this is based on the factual story of Anne Greene who at About 22 years of age found herself pregnant after having false  promises made to her by the grandson of the master of the house she was a servant at. 
Anne was convicted of infanticide after giving birth to a child that she swore never drew a breath and by written a count of mid wife that examined the child, stated it could never have been a viable birth being only 9 inches in length and not well formed...Anne was sentenced anyway by a court of law (which at the time was made up of landed gentry who easily sided with the master of the house who besmirched Anne as a whore and loose woman as to take the blame from his grandson.) to hang from the neck until dead. Which was what had happened. 
She was hanged, and even the accounts tell of family members hanging from her legs and lifting and jerking her body downward as to hasten her death, as well as pounding her about the chest.  She hung for 3o minutes it's said and a doctor finding no heartbeat or pulse pronounced her dead. Her corpse was given to a group of medical doctors for dissection... 

I'll leave it all off here as it's not a long read but one that produced much emotion from me. I went into this story knowing not much of the outcome (which I think made for a more exciting read for me) found myself feeling sad for Anne Greene as she is one of many many young naive servant  girls  long ago, in homes who may have found themselves having been taken advantage of by the masters and or sons of in the home with or without consent... No support from others in the home as this story went, (not being of record however) that she was treated poorly and unfairly by the other servants and no one would believe her story or back her word as I'm sure they would have been afraid for their own positions in the house if they were shown to support the "wench" who accused the masters grandson. 
     I listened to this in audio form and once again found the narrators, two for this story, Rosalind Landor and Michael Page, excellent.  They did a wonderful  job bringing alive the voices of Anne, the servants and doctors...etc. Each taking a chapter as the story went back and forth from Annes POV to the others. Stories like this fascinate me in general and this being taken from the genuine account of the time was written well by author, Mary Hooper. 
   This is labeled as a young adult historical fiction but definitely not lacking for adults. Perhaps if it wasn't based on fact I would find it lacking and feel it could have been, should have been built upon. However the fact that it IS based on an actual event in history I think the author did a fine job of getting the facts in and sticking to what the norms would be at the time adding just enough of a back story. 
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Reading Progress

October 14, 2010 – Started Reading
October 14, 2010 – Shelved
October 14, 2010 –
40.0% "This story is making me so sad! A true tale from 1650. It is a story of so many Poor servant girls in one way, being taken advantage of by the master or grandson in this case... Right now they are working in bringing her back as they saw signs of life after she was hung for infantasied and was sent to medical school for dissection... Amazing! "
October 15, 2010 – Finished Reading

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Sophia McCutchen take my quiz on this book! :D

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