Poison Pen

In last week’s Takimag column, Theodore Dalrymple writes about a vicious, 19th-century French murderess who was the subject of a recently read book from his vast library on crime.

It is a confession of essential frivolity of mind, perhaps, to admit that my favorite reading is in the annals of crime. Of course, as a former prison doctor and expert witness in murder trials, I can claim a legitimate professional interest, but to do so would not be altogether honest. Like 99 percent of people, I am prurient; indeed, the only people uninterested in crime probably suffer from autism.

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