Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Release: Gray, "The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country"

Via our friends at the Canadian Legal History Blog, we have word of the latest release from the Osgoode Society: The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country, by Charlotte Gray. Here's a description from the press:
In 1915 Carrie Davies, an 18-year old servant girl in the home of Charles (Bert) Massey, scion of the famous Massey family, shot and killed her employer as he entered his house after work. Remarkably, she was acquitted, and award winning popular historian Charlotte Gray explains how this happened. Vividly recreating the war time atmosphere, a press war, and conflicts over crime and gender, she highlights the role played by the defence lawyer who exploited the "unwritten law" of an honour killing in a rare Canadian case of jury nullification.
Blogger Mary Stokes (Osgoode Hall Law School) offers this additional information:
Those familiar with the Osgoode Society's publications will see immediately that this is not our usual style. It's more 'popular' than academic history. This is not to say that it is not the result of excellent research. Merely that while there is a note on sources and an index, there are no footnotes, even for dialogue which the author has reproduced from newspapers and other sources, and there is some creative licence taken. Says the author, "I imagine, but I do not invent....I speculate and I interpret...I do so cautiously, and only when I am confident that I am more likely to be right than wrong..." (xv-xvi). Less value for professional historians than a more conventional treatment would have afforded, but a darn good read for everyone.