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Vol 21 No 4 April/May 2016

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Passion, Poison and Power: The Mysterious Death of Sir Thomas Overbury


ISBN13: 9780854900770
Published: October 2010
Publisher: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £19.99



In stock.

Little attention was paid at the time to the death in the Tower of London of Sir Thomas Overbury, but it was not long before foul play was suspected. Two years later six people went to the gallows for his murder in a case which was said to involve wizardry, love potions, coded letters and a poisoned enema. Following them into the dock were the most glamorous couple at the court of King James.

The husband, who was widely rumoured to be the King’s lover, was convicted of Overbury’s murder despite his protestations of innocence; but was he actually guilty? His pretty young wife confessed to the murder; but did she actually commit the crime? And the Lord Chief Justice was convinced that the case had a far wider and more sinister significance than appeared on the surface, possibly involving the suspicious death of the Prince of Wales.

Despite an exhaustive inquiry conducted by England’s most feared prosecutor, the whole truth never came to light; even the official report of the trials is suspect. In this entertaining account of one of the most sensational crimes in English history, Brian Harris re-evaluates the evidence and proposes a new solution to this intriguing Jacobean mystery.

"a most interesting and scholarly account...Brian Harris tells the story carefully analysing all the available evidence and providing much surprising comment on the judicial process of the time...a fascinating account"

Keith Lawrey, Graya

"Brian Harris, a contemporary lawyer of distinction, has deployed his forensic skills in seeking to unravel a celebrated seventeenth century murder mystery; his may not be the last word on a topic which has engaged generations of scholars but his theatrical format and analytical insight carry the reader forward with him on an entertaining journey"

Michael Beloff QC

"The death in 1613 of Sir Thomas Overbury in the Tower of London is a matter of such Byzantine complexity, you could write a book about it, which is exactly what Brian Harris QC has successfully and entertainingly done. He deals with the case, not specifically as an historian, but as a lawyer...the narration is positively gripping...combining as it does, history, mystery and the law, Passion, Poison and Power is a compelling read and deserves a wide and appreciative readership"

Philip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Subjects:
Legal History, General Interest, Wildy, Simmonds and Hill
Contents:
Acknowledgements
Characters
Prologue
Act 1 The empty stage
Act 2 The husband, his wife and her lovers
Act 3 The annulment
Act 4 Overbury in the Tower
Act 5 The Gallant Masque of Lords
Act 6 A new star rises
Act 7 A net to catch the little fishes
Act 8 The fall of the house of Somerset
Act 9 The Somersets on Trial
Act 10 Was justice done?
Act 11 Was Carr a murderer?
Act 12 The conspiracy theories
Act 13 Who or what killed Overbury?
Act 14 And afterwards
Author’s note
Principal sources
Index