Book Review: John Brewer’s A Sentimental Murder

John Brewer’s A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in the Eighteenth Century (Amazon) discusses the brutal public murder of Martha Ray by her admirer James Hackman in April 1779. The truth behind the story is hard to decipher. Some correspondence existed between Ray and Hackman, but the depth of their relationship must be left to speculation. Martha Ray was the constant mistress and companion of Lord Sandwich (after whom the snack is named); over the sixteen years of their relationship, Ray bore sandwich nine children, of whom five were living at the time of her death. On the night of her death Martha...

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