Monday Books has published the new Dalrymple book The Policeman and the Brothel: A Victorian Murder, the good doctor’s account of the only killing of a police officer ever on the island of Jersey:
Deep in the bleak winter of 1846, Jersey is a very different place from today. It is home to tens of thousands of rough-and-ready sailors, who spend their time drinking, chasing loose women and gambling through the teeming and chaotic streets. The job of keeping order still falls to elected ‘centeniers’ – such as the respected and feared George Le Cronier. There have already been two brutal murders on the island over the last few weeks. Now Le Cronier is on his way to arrest the madame of a notorious brothel. This is the true story of what happened next…
The really interesting point here is that the book appears to be written as a narrative, which would be Dalrymple’s first such work (or second, depending on how one categorizes So Little Done), and it will be fun to read him telling a story.
Buy the book at the bargain price of £8.99 here. Note the request for non-UK readers to contact them at email@example.com before ordering.
A small correction: Filosofa’s Republic was also written as a narrative as was The Examined Life, both more so than So Little Done. And I suppose if you want to get really technical, you could say all of his travel books were non-fictional narratives.
We could say that this book appears to be his first non-autobiographical, non-fictional narrative, but that would be too picky so I won’t say that.
“…the only killing of a police officer ever on the island of Jersey.”
Hmmm. My brother-in-law is an ex-copper, and he was born on Jersey (he’s in his late sixties now).
Readers may recall old Nazi news reel footage, of a policeman opening a car door for German uniformed officer, during the occupation of the channel islands. According to brother-in-law, that bobby was found dead after the occupation, and nobody was too concerned about finding the culprit.
Assuming the story to be true, it would be intriguing to know the details, especially if there are any official reports on the matter.