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Blood & Ivy

The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard

28 September 2018

Paul Collins (Author)


A delectable true-crime story of scandal and murder at America's most celebrated university.

On 23 November 1849, in the heart of Boston, one of the city’s richest men vanished. Dr. George Parkman, who owned much of Boston's West End, was last seen that afternoon visiting his alma mater, Harvard Medical School. Police scoured city tenements and the harbour but a Harvard janitor held a much darker suspicion: that their ruthless benefactor had not left the Medical School building. His shocking discovery engulfed America in one of its most infamous trials, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. John White Webster, Harvard’s professor of chemistry. A baffling case of red herrings, grave robbing and dismemberment; it became a landmark in the use of medical forensics. Rich in characters and atmosphere, Blood & Ivy explores the fatal entanglement of new science and old money in one of America’s greatest murder mysteries.


"Tells the story of one of the most sensational crimes of 19th century America. Well-researched and beautifully written, his book is filled with Dickensian characters....Collins knows how to build suspense." — San Francisco Chronicle



168 x 244 mm • 368 pages


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