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Crime Fiction on Trial – The Trial of Lotta Rae

  • Submitted: 8th October 2023

The Trial of Lotta Rae by Siobhan MacGowan

This is a fictional read but sadly it reads all too familiar even today. The book is set in 1906 and is about a woman who is raped by a wealthy gentleman. Guess who’s believed?

The Trial of Lotta Rae Siobhan MacGowan

Locations in The Trial of Lotta Rae

The trial that is evoked in the novel is very sad and the whole novel is moving and poignant. It reads very much like a real life case to the point where I had to look up Lotta Rae again just to be sure this was not a horrible and infamous real case. It reads like one.

Gibson Street where W Linden lives:

Locations in The Trial of Lotta Rae

The London society evoked in the novel is familar enough – women are merely the playthings of men and those of lower status are their playthings. It’s horrific and shocking in equal measure and so when a woman bravely steps forward to get justice, all eyes are on her.

Sadly the trial is not the worst part of the proceedings for  it’s what the poor woman is subjected to afterwards that is the real miscarriage of justice. The city and society of the time are evoked well but this is one heck of a dark and unforgiving city.

The Old Bailey

Locations in The Trial of Lotta Rae

The war is on and there is some glee at sending men to their deaths  – the rich men of course stay behind in the city in control of businesses and seem to look down on those that go to the front line.

At the same time, the Suffragette movement is growing. This is becoming an historical battle and is the chance for women everywhere to have their voices heard. When you read this book, you will think it’s about time.

Chiswell street where the Whitbread Brewery is in the novel:

Locations in The Trial of Lotta Rae

This is a history lesson in book form. Never mind what time the book is set, this is a warning of what can and will happen if justice is not delivered. If we judge people on their status and wealth and not on their actions.

There is more than one trail portrayed in this book. Poor Lotta Rae faces many trials. Kudos to the author for taking readers on such a painful but powerful journey.


BookTrail Boarding Pass:  The Trial of Lotta Rae

Twitter: @EtainsDream

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