Death at the PrioryJames Ruddick
12 September 2002
Published by Atlantic Books
‘Excellent, a triumphant feat of detective work… Ruddick’s book is not only a gripping historical whodunit, but also a brilliant evocation of the sort of tribulations that had to be endured by many Victorian women who were doomed to disastrous marriages. Thanks to Ruddick and his meticulous research, I, for one, am utterly convinced that we now know who really murdered Charles Bravo.’ Val Hennessy, Daily Mail
‘Death at the Priory is as compelling as any fictional thriller. James Ruddick possesses a real talent for bringing the characters and the situation to fascinating life.’Kate Atkinson, author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum
In 1875, the beautiful and vivacious widow Florence Ricardo wedded Charles Bravo, a dashing barrister. The marriage seemed a happy but, one night, four months after the wedding, Bravo collapsed. For the next fifty-five hours, with some of London’s most distinguished physicians in attendance, Charles suffered a slow and agonizing death. All the doctors agreed: Charles Bravo had been poisoned. The dramatic investigation that followed was covered in sensational detail by the press. The finger of suspicion pointed at various times at suicide, at Mrs Cox, at George Griffiths, a stableman with a grudge, and at the remarkable figure of Florence Bravo herself. James Ruddick’s meticulous recreation of the case brings its main characters and their times to vivid life. The brilliant conclusion draws on new evidence unearthed by the author himself to demonstrate for the first time who really murdered Charles Bravo.