Synopses & Reviews
Troy, New York, 1853. Two Irish immigrants a man and a woman die shortly after drinking beer poured by a neighbor. Was it poisoned? And if so, was their slayer the beautiful mistress of an important Democratic politician? Many Trojans soon answer yes to both questions, but others question the guilt of the glamorous accused. Rumored to be the once-respectable Miss Charlotte Wood, a former student at Emma Willard s elite Troy Female Seminary and the runaway wife of a British lord, her identity remains in doubt, and the air of mystery is only heightened by her decision to remain hidden behind a veil during her trial, which earns her the nickname The Veiled Murderess. As the affair widens to include the antebellum social and political worlds of Troy and Albany, the blossoming scandal threatens important people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Drawing on newspapers, court documents, and other records of the time, Jeanne Winston Adler attempts to come to an understanding of the truth behind the strange affair of the veiled murderess. In the process, she addresses a number of topics important to our understanding of nineteenth-century life in New York State, including the changing roles of women, the marginal position of the Irish, and the contentious political firmament of the time."