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Unnatural Murder: Poison In The Court Of James I

Unnatural Murder: Poison In The Court Of James I

‘A gripping detective story … Wonderfully dramatic … Probably the juiciest court scandal of the past 500 years’ Daily Mail

In the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The young and beautiful Countess of Somerset had already achieved notoriety when she divorced her first husband in controversial circumstances. The Earl of Somerset was one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom, having risen to prominence as the male ‘favourite’ of James I.

In a vivid, enthralling narrative, Anne Somerset unravels these extraordinary events. It is, at once, a story rich in passion, intrigue and corruption and a murder mystery – for, despite the guilty verdicts, there is much about Overbury’s death that remains enigmatic. The Overbury murder case profoundly damaged the monarchy, and constituted the greatest court scandal in English history.

‘This is a book about murder, witchcraft, adultery, lechery, intrigue and chicanery among the country’s most powerful nobility’ Time Out
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Genre: Humanities / History / Regional & National History / European History / British & Irish History

On Sale: 18th February 2021

Price: £10.99

ISBN-13: 9781474618748

Reviews

Wonderfully dramatic ... Probably the juiciest court scandal of the past 500 years. Anne Somerset writes so freshly that her characters strut before us as if they lived today. A gripping detective story that tells us more about the corruption, debauchery and naked power-plays of 17th century life than anything I have read
Christopher Hudson, DAILY MAIL
This is by far the most comprehensive account I have read of the Overbury scandal, combining a firm mastery of complex sources with a narrative drive that impels the reader to turn the page. It is also quite one the best historical whodunnits
Roy Strong, SUNDAY TIMES
Anne Somerset gives us scandal in high places, as well as insights into a seamy underworld of quacks and witches, hustlers and go-betweens; her subsidiary characters stand comparison with Ben Jonson's most outrageous rascals ... Both history and whodunnit, this is a hugely enjoyable book
Lucy Hughes-Hallet, DAILY TELEGRAPH
A sordid yet fascinating story which Anne Somerset delineates with great skill
Antonia Fraser, THE TIMES
Deals in a scholarly but ever readable way with a fascinating historical nugget. This is a book about murder, witchcraft, adultery, lechery, intrigue and chicanery among the country's most powerful nobility
Steve Grant, TIME OUT
Anne Somerset shows skill and stamina in telling her lurid tale....This book consolidates her position in the front rank of historical biographers for the general reader
John Jolliffe, COUNTRY LIFE
A fine and absorbing book, based on fresh scholarship and fresh thinking and deserving both a lay and professional readership
Blair Worden, THE SPECTATOR
This marvellous account of a real-life episode in 1615 bristles with ingredients Webster would have recognised and loved
Max Davidson, DAILY TELGRAPH
Scrupulously researched, her account of the Overbury scandal illuminates the machinations and intrigues which passed for government in Jacobean England
SUNDAY TIMES