Auction Date: 2/09/2014 at 01pm
Crime and Punishment – Maria Marten and the Red Barn Murder An Authentic And Faithful History Of The Mysterious Murder Of Maria Marten With A Full Development Of All The Extraordinary Circumstances Which Led To The Discovery In The Red Barn To Which Is Added The Trial Of William Corder Taken At Large In Short. London: Thomas Kelly, 1828. 8vo. Modern binding, generally good condition and appears complete. Slight restoration to frontispiece, ownership signature to inside cover dated 1828. Scarce early edition of one of the most infamous cases of its time. The Red Barn Murder was a notorious murder committed in Polstead, Suffolk in 1827. A young woman, Maria Marten, was shot dead by her lover, William Corder. The two had arranged to meet at the Red Barn, a local landmark, before eloping to Ipswich. Maria was never heard from again. Corder fled the scene and, although he sent Marten’s family letters claiming she was in good health, her body was later discovered buried in the barn after her stepmother spoke of having dreamt about the murder. Corder was tracked down in London, where he had married and started a new life. He was brought back to Suffolk, and after a well-publicised trial, found guilty of murder. He was hanged in Bury St Edmunds in 1828 a huge crowd witnessed Corder’s execution. The story provoked numerous articles in the newspapers, and songs and plays. The village where the crime had taken place became a tourist attraction and the barn was stripped by souvenir hunters – such was the notoriety of this case that the popular ballads which were inspired by it are still performed today.