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  • Location: London, Jamaica

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Why a Booktrail?

1826: Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder.

  • ISBN: 978-0241349199
  • Genre: Historical

What you need to know before your trail

‘They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don’t believe I’ve done?’

1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.

For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.

But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?

Travel Guide


The story starts in the Old Bailey where Frannie is on trial before we are taken back to Jamaica and mostly London to see the story unfold….


The town and setting remains vague but it does explain where Frannie is from and tell you about the life she led before being taken to London for a ‘new life’

She is taken from the slave quarters up to the house to work and soon realises that this is a world of black and white. She describes their differences in exquisite detail.

“The syrupy way white women move,Not like the cabin-women, who were quick as hens.”

This is the land owned by Langton, who now owns her. Possession here is everything.

“That whole island was sun-addled. Heat like biting ants. Light like blades.”

Life here as a slave is hard and heartbreaking.. She’s always being told what to do,threatened with the cane and is told the law is there to protect the rich against people like her.


The city where most of the novel takes place and especially inside the house in Bedford Square where the family live, and then inside the Old Bailey as the trial takes place.

This is a city again where the family seem to own a great deal of property and are involved in the trade of goods. They move around and live in such areas as Convent Garden Bloomsbury Square and the richer side of town.

There is a brief sejour to Wiltshire where they head off to Longreach, the home of Sir Percy. Sadly a fictional house but deep in the luscious countryside.

Booktrailer Review


I absolutely loved this! Quotable, very well written and a fascinating account of a Jamaican maid in London at that time. Social attitudes and society at the time are briliantly evoked and analysed. Gripping!

Read The BookTrail’s Bookreview of Frannie Langton on the blog here

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Destination : London, Jamaica  Author/Guide: Sara Collins  Departure Time: 1812 -25, 1826

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