Fred & Edie

Fred & Edie

Book - 2000
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Blackwell North Amer
Set in Ilford in the early nineteen twenties, this dramatic story of passion, murder and a spectacular public trial takes place at a time of momentous change for women. It is based on the true story of Edith Thompson, a book-keeper in the City who had married during the war but soon found her suburban life - and husband - stifling, dreaming instead of the kind of romantic and glamorous world she found in novels and in the new cinemas springing up around her.
Attractive, confident and financially independent, Edie was excited by the new freedoms open to women and enjoyed flouting convention. When she met Freddy Bywaters, seven years her junior, dark, sexy and impetuous, an affair seemed inevitable. Never in her wildest dreams could Edie have foreseen the devastation to four young lives that was to follow.
Drawing on newspaper reports of the period as well as letters by Edie to Freddy, Jill Dawson creates an intimate, tantalising voice for Edie as the story unfolds of how she came to be on trial for her life at the Old Bailey during the snowy December of 1922. Was Edie simply ahead of her time or did she collude in her own fate? Teasing out answers to this compelling mystery, this is a novel of entrancing imagination, sensitivity and grace.

Publisher: London : Sceptre, Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000
Description: 276 p
ISBN: 9780340751664
Branch Call Number: Daws


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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 22, 2014

This compelling novel is based on the tragic story of Edith Thompson, a British woman who was the subject of a famous trial in the 1920’s. Through letters between Edie and her young lover Dawson conveys the seduction and passion, which leads to Edie’s destruction.

Dec 24, 2012

This novel is based on an actual murder trial in the 1920s in Britain and is constructed using real newspaper reports and imagined letters from Edie to her lover. Although the main characters are not particularly likable - Edie seems vain and cut off from the society of the day - the book stands as an indictment against capital punishment.

Sep 02, 2009

Although not a strong sense of style is evident in this retelling of a domestic crime, Edie's voice is so intriguing that you can hardly dismiss it. Based on the true story of the bungling murder of Edith's husband by her lover, the story unwinds in a most shocking way.

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