Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum – Mark Stevens

This is a selection of short stories about noted inmates of Broadmoor from Victorian times. There is a very long introduction which gives a potted history of Broadmoor before we get to the individual cases themselves. So far I have read just one of these case histories. Did I learn anything of the person committed to Broadmoor for firing pistols at Queen Victoria? No – this was a potted history which told me very little. I think I learned more from the Introduction. Maybe the later stories will prove to be more enlightening. I hope so.

Well I have got to the end. I did wonder as I read it if the author was a professional writer or just a self-publisher. I am not sure, but to be honest I haven’t the interest to find out. The author is an archivist who has access to the Broadmoor archives. If this is a sample then I don’t think they are worth keeping. The book read rather like a sampler for another bigger, better book to come. It teased, just enough information to almost interest and then it stopped. I didn’t really learn anything about either Victorian crime or the Lunatic Asylum. I have far better books on the topics from my degree course. It was a shame as it promised so much…but then the Introduction was pretty lengthy – more interest was paid to the crimes and escapes than the everyday life in Broadmoor. I have this book on my Kindle…it’ll be one of the first to go when I am short of space, no dammit, I’ll delete it now.

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