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Marshall Hall was a splendid figure known in the late 19th century and the early 20th century, when his fame was at its height, as "the handsomest man in England".
He appeared in most of the great murder trials of his day, invariably leading for the defence in trials like the "Rising Sun" murder, the Seddon poison trial, the "Brides in the Bath" trial and the Fahmi Bey trial, but his huge public success was contrasted with much personal unhappiness.
On the one hand the book provides exciting courtroom drama and on the other, Hall's obsessive love for his first wife, who not only deceived him but died after the illegal abortion of her lover's child.