By Laura Thompson
On 7 November 1974, a nanny named Sandra Rivett was once bludgeoned to demise in a Belgravia basement. A moment girl, Veronica, Countess of Lucan, used to be additionally attacked. the guy named in courtroom as wrongdoer of those crimes, Richard John Bingham, seventh Earl of Lucan, disappeared within the early hours of the subsequent morning. The case, solved within the eyes of the legislations, has retained its fascination ever since.
Laura Thompson, acclaimed biographer of Agatha Christie, narrates the tale that led as much as that cataclysmic occasion, and attracts on her significant forensic talents to reconsider the prospective truths at the back of one in all postwar Britain's such a lot infamous murders. a unique type OF homicide is a portrait of an period, of a unprecedented forged of characters, of a secret, of a latest delusion. half social background, half detective tale, it tells in masterly sort one of many nice stories of our collective residing memory.
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Extra resources for A Different Class of Murder
Edith Thompson dreamed of leaving her husband, but did not dare because she feared the loss of respectability. So again the answer was murder. Murder, all too often, was what happened when alternative action was too expensive. No such cataclysm was necessary when the future 2nd Earl of Lucan fell in love with the wife of the future 12th Duke of Norfolk, formerly Lady Elizabeth Belasyse, a daughter of the Earl of Fauconberg. Freedom, in such circles, could be bought. Lady Elizabeth obtained a divorce in 1794 and married the Hon.
He had also been preoccupied with money. His estate was held in trust, and supplied him with an income that had become grotesquely inadequate. After the Lucans separated, his wife had possession of the family home at Lower Belgrave Street, which he was obliged to maintain. He gave her an allowance, while also paying rent on a flat for his own use. He received around £12,000 a year from trusts, and at the time of the murder had debts of some £65,000. Thus was set up a classic scenario for domestic murder: emotional motive, financial cause.
10 Lucan first moved to the mews house at 5 Eaton Row, also owned in trust, directly behind Lower Belgrave Street. Then he went a little further afield, albeit still within the sacred precincts of SW1, to a flat at 72a Elizabeth Street. The idea of taking on this five-bedroom property was that it would be large enough to accommodate his children and their nanny. The idea, in fact, was to win custody. In March 1973 Lucan made an application at the High Court to have the children placed in his care.
A Different Class of Murder by Laura Thompson