Great and Horrible News Publication Date

Blessin Adams, early modern scholar and former police officer, has just released a new book titled “Great and Horrible News.” The publication of this thought-provoking book has sparked interest among history enthusiasts and true crime fans alike. The book delves into the fascinating world of early modern England, where murder trials were a source of public spectacle and grisly stories of crime and death sold like hot cakes. Through a series of nine historic crimes, Blessin explores the themes of murder, criminal investigation, early forensic techniques, and high court trials, among others. The book is based on extensive original research, piecing together stories from coroner’s inquests, court records, parish archives, letters, diaries, and the cheap street pamphlets that were produced to feed the public’s insatiable appetite for true crime stories. Blessin has a unique ability to bring history to life, and “Great and Horrible News” is no exception. The stories in the book are told in a thrilling narrative that follows a fugitive killer through the streets of London, delves into the mystery of a suspected staged suicide, and portrays the lives of real people as they confront the extraordinary crises of murder, infanticide, miscarriage, and suicide. Despite being set in a different time, the book sheds light on issues and attitudes that are still relevant today. Many of the historical laws and attitudes concerning death and murder may seem cruel by today’s standards, yet they also serve as a reminder that some things never change – such as our fascination with true crime stories and the public spectacle of murder trials. In a recent statement, Blessin said, “I am thrilled to share this book with the world. The history of death and murder in early modern England is both fascinating and eerie, and I hope that readers will be captivated by these true stories as much as I was.” “Great and Horrible News” is available to pre-order now in bookstores and online retailers. If you’re a fan of true crime, history, or just a good story, this book is a must-read. Get your copy today and discover the strange history of death and murder in early modern Britain.

Belief in Divine Intervention – BBC History Magazine May Issue

I’ve written an article in the May 23 issue about belief in divine intervention in revealing murders through wondrous signs and supernatural occurrences in the early modern era. These beliefs were not limited to sensational true crime pamphlets but were also reflected in official records, where suspects were put on trial based on wondrous evidence. The early moderns believed that God worked against sin by delivering justice through miraculous means, and murderers at large would rather confess their crimes than live in fear of exposure. In the magazine I write about the case of Ralph Suckey, who confessed to murder because he imagined that a flock of crows was accusing him of his crime, and about the ghost of a midwife who appeared to a maid and instructed her to dig under a fireplace, where the remains of two small children were found. BBC History Magazine Grisly Killings & Mysterious Motives: Murder in Early Modern Britain I had a great time as a guest on the History Extra podcast.  

Chalke Valley History Festival 2023

Blessin is due to present a talk at the Chalke Valley History Festival 26th June – 2nd July 2023. Talk date and time to be confirmed.   To enquire about setting up a book signing or event appearance please contact: Laura Meyer: Laura.N.Meyer@harpercollins.co.uk

Great and Horrible News Book Cover

Great and Horrible News

Great and Horrible NewsMurder and Mayhem in Early Modern Britain By Blessin Adams NINE HISTORIC CRIMES. ONE FAMILIAR OBSESSION. In early modern England, murder truly was most foul. Trials were gossipy events packed to the rafters with noisome spectators. Executions were public proceedings which promised not only gore, but desperate confessions and the grandest, most righteous human drama. Bookshops saw grisly stories of crime and death sell like hot cakes. This history unfolds the true stories of murder, criminal investigation, early forensic techniques, high court trials and so much more. In thrilling narrative, we follow a fugitive killer through the streets of London, citizen detectives clamouring to help officials close the net. We untangle the mystery of a suspected staged suicide through the newly emerging science of forensic pathology. We see a mother trying to clear her dead daughter’s name while other women faced the accusations – sometimes true and sometimes not – of murdering their own children. These stories are pieced together from original research using coroner’s inquests, court records, parish archives, letters, diaries and the cheap street pamphlets that proliferated to satisfy a voracious public. These intensely personal stories portray the lives of real people as they confronted the extraordinary crises of murder, infanticide, miscarriage and suicide. Many historical laws and attitudes concerning death and murder may strike us as exceptionally cruel, and yet many still remind us that some things never change: we are still fascinated by narratives of murder and true crime, murder trials today continue to be grand public spectacles, female killers are frequently cast as aberrant objects of public hatred and sexual desire, and suicide remains a sin within many religious organisations and was a crime in England until the 1960s. Great and Horrible News! explores the strange history of death and murder in early modern England, yet the stories within may appear shockingly familiar. Buy your copy today. Hardback, Paperback & Ebook Amazon Waterstones WHSmith Barnes & Noble Book Shop Blackwells Kobo Everywhere Else Audiobook Audible Kobo Audio Barnes & Noble Audio Booktopia Newsletter By signing up to my newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about my latest book releases, events, and exclusive content that I only share with my subscribers. You’ll get an insider’s look into my research and writing journey, and the fascinating characters and stories that I uncover.  

Book Events

Book Hive in Norwich – Book Launch 6.30pm doors for 7.00pm start. Refreshments provided. SOLD OUT Rare Bird Books in Edinburgh This is a limited space event. Tickets are £5 and can be redeemed against any purchase on the evening of the event. Tickets can be bought online here. Leeds Library Taking place in the local & family history department, with Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC who was a judge at the Old Bailey until only recently. Find out more and book tickets here. To enquire about setting up a book event please contact: Laura Meyer: Laura.N.Meyer@harpercollins.co.uk