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Duration 00:47:04

Did she kill him? Addiction, adultery and arsenic in Victorian Britain

Florence Chandler was in her early 20s when she married much older James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton broker, in 1881. Eight years later, tensions seethed. James was addicted to arsenic. Both were unfaithful. When James died suddenly, Florence was arrested for his murder. Was Florence victim or aggressor? Was she tried for her morality?  Relying primarily on records from The National Archives, Kate Colquhoun re-examines the case dubbed by many as the greatest miscarriage of English justice and she asks what light it sheds on late Victorian society.

Kate Colquhoun has written a biography of Joseph Paxton and a history of Britain through its food. She also wrote the non-fiction bestseller Mr Briggs’ Hat, about the first murder on a British train.


  1. tessa heyworth says:

    I really enjoy the podcasts, but am frustrated that despite increasing the volume on my computer to the max, several are much too quiet to listen to whilst cooking. Lucy Worsley is an exception as she seems to speak more directly into the microphone.

    1. Ruth Crumey (admin) says:

      Thank you for getting in touch Tessa – we’re sorry you’re having problems with the volume. Has this happened with all of our podcasts? We do check the them prior to publication but I’ll pass on your comments to the editors and we’ll see what we can do.

      On the subject of audibility, users might be interested to know that, thanks to a “remote” volunteer project (, we are able to add more transcriptions to our most popular podcasts.

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