Thunderstruck

Erik Larson,

Thunderstruck
 
 

'A big, bold approach to the writing of narrative non-fiction . . . it shows how tiny lives may occasionally become caught up in the wonders of the age' GUARDIAN

In 1910, Edwardian England was scandalized by a murder.

Mild-mannered American Hawley Crippen had killed his wife, buried her remains in the cellar of their North London home and then gone on the run with his young mistress, his secretary Ethel Le Neve.

A Scotland Yard inspector, already famous for his part in the Ripper investigation, discovered the murder and launched an international hunt for Crippen that climaxed in a trans-Atlantic chase between two ocean liners.

The chase itself was novel, but what captured the imagination was the role played by a new and little understood technology: the wireless. Thanks to its inventor Marconi's obsessive fight to perfect his machine, the world was able to learn of events occurring in the middle of the Atlantic as they unfolded - something previously unthinkable.

It was the Crippen case that helped convince the world of the potential of Marconi's miracle technology, so accelerating the revolution that eventually produced the modern means of communication we take for granted today . . .



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