Madeleine Smith on Trial

A Glasgow Murder and the Young Woman Too Respectable to Convict

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About the Book

In 1855, Glasgow socialite Madeleine Smith began a flirtation with Pierre L’Angelier, a handsome clerk—for her a mere diversion. But L’Angelier sought social mobility. Their class disparity gave her control of the intrigue but when the relationship turned sexual, the power imbalance shifted. The Scots recognized irregular unions in certain cases. L’Angelier considered Smith his wife, a part she at first discreetly played. When he refused to step aside and allow her a more socially acceptable marriage, his removal became necessary. Smith’s sensational murder trial captivated both Britain and America. Despite compelling evidence of guilt, various factors led to her acquittal—her class and gender, the peculiarities of Scottish law—and many believed the case went to trial only because the Crown feared blatant confirmation that justice was not blind.

About the Author(s)

A retired academic, Brian Jenkins is the author of nine earlier books, all set in the nineteenth century. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Bibliographic Details

Brian Jenkins
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 237
Bibliographic Info: 10 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7840-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3773-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. A Scottish Romance 11
2. A Murder Investigation 35
3. Madeleine Smith Goes to Trial 63
4. The Prosecution 87
5. The Letters and the Memorandum Book 114
6. The Defense Rests 140
7. Not Proven 168
8. The Verdicts on Trial 188
Chapter Notes 209
Bibliography 221
Index 227