The Strange, Sordid World of Elizabethan-Era True Crime
For a country with a virgin queen, Elizabethan England was just stewing in sin. Or maybe it only seems that way from society’s portrayal in the books, plays, and pamphlets of the period. Maybe those authors, playwrights, and publishers understood the timeless craving for true crime stories, and happily fed people’s appetites. Whatever the reason, if you know where to look, there’s a wealth of material for anyone hoping to indulge in stories of rogues, witches, and knaves.
Megan Campisi's debut novel, Sin Eater, is a historical mystery set in an Elizabethan England flush with true crime. One young woman is condemned to bear her town’s sins as a sin eater, but she turns her curse into an unexpected source of power when she uncovers and sets out to solve a series of gruesome murders. In crafting the world, I drew on true crime stories of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. So, where did Elizabethans go for their true crime fix? Here’s a guide to seven delicious sources to transport you to the Elizabethan criminal underworld.
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