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Guardbridge Books

“A Horrid Deed “The Life and Death of Joe the Quilter (August 2021)

“A blood spatter and mysterious prints in the snow… what happened to Joe the Quilter? For two centuries people have asked about the fate of this humble man from Northumberland. In Robert Smith’s capable hands, readers will find themselves enthralled in a mystery for the ages while steeping themselves in a fascinating time and place too often forgotten.” — James Wolfinger, Professor of History, Illinois State University

Joseph Hedley was found murdered behind a locked door in his modest cottage in 1826. The case attracted attention and notoriety for the brutality of the crime, preserving the name of this quiet man known to his neighbours for producing fine hand- stitched quilts, but it was never solved.

Dr. Smith brings to life the craftspeople of Northern England, drawing on records and stories from the case, as well as a host of other sources to reveal how the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of Empire brought new challenges to the anonymous folk trying to survive in a time of change. He then focuses on the murder of this one man, examining the evidence and how the authorities failed to make an arrest. He concludes with his own determination of who must have been the culprit, solving this ages old mystery.

Part true crime, part social history, this book will intrigue you and reveal the lives – and deaths – of the common people usually overlooked.

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“An Evil Day in Georgia” : The Killing of Coleman Osborn and the Death Penalty in the Progressive Era South (May, 2015)

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An Evil Day in Georgia book cover

Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 234 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1911486632
ISBN-13 : ‎ 978-1911486633
Published : August 2021


An Evil Day in Georgia book cover

Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press (1682)
Published : May 2015


Read a sample extract.

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An Evil Day in Georgia is an impressive and thoroughly researched study

Paul T. Vogel

Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

The telling of this story … exposes the death penalty’s imperfections even as it calls into question the veracity of a woman’s confession, later recanted, that once brought her within a stones throw of the state’s electric chair.

John Bessler

Author, Cruel and Unusual: The American Death Penalty and the Founders’ Eighth Amendment