In "A Grim Almanac of Kent", W.H. Johnson has discovered a sinister, macrabre or horrifying occurrance for every day of the year, and presents his readers with 365 graphic, spine-tingling and dramatic events. The wicked, the mad, the foolish and the unfortunate parade through the pages; poachers, witches, rioters, plague victims, highwaymen, smugglers and the condemned awaiting their fate. There are accidents, explosions, suicides and shipwrecks here. The author takes us into prisons and workhouses, into the clums of Maidstone and the cold cottages of the rural poor, and even onto the scaffold. And then there are the likes of George Joseph Smith doing away with his brides in the bath, the respectable Stauntons who starved heiress Harriet to death, Frances Kidder who drowned her stepdaughter, and an old man's murder which remained unsolved until an incredible confession eleven years later. W.H Johnson's new book is generously illustrated with a range of engravings, photographs, public notices and original documents. This chronicle of all that is grim and ghastly is an entertaining and readable alternative history of Kent.
W.H. Johnson, a former headmaster and schools inspector, has written many articles and books on local history, crime and criminals including Sussex Murders and A Grim Almanac of Sussex (both by Sutton Publishing). He won the South East Prose Prize in 1991.
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