Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Knitted Homes of Crime

A very interesting little exhibition... go HERE to see the whole thing... these knit houses were created by Jean Arkell and are made to look like the places where these female killers went mad.

It's gruesome... yes, but I'm very attracted to the combination of medium and concept here... especially considering the time period when knitting and such was still practiced for purpose rather than just pleasure.

Here's a little sample:

Christiana - 20 hours
16 Gloucester Place , Brighton, East Sussex - 1871
Mrs. Beard - 21 1/2 hours
64 Grand Parade, Brighton, East Sussex - 1871

Christiana Edmunds was a 43 year old spinster who lived with her widowed mother. She had become infatuated with a married man, Dr. Beard. In September 1870 she brought a box of chocolates to the Beard's house and insisted that Mrs. Beard eat some over a pot of tea. Christiana had filled these chocolate creams with strychnine. Immediately after eating one Mrs. Beard became severely ill. As a result Dr. Beard accused her of trying to poison his wife. Christiana denied the charge and set about trying to prove that there was a poisoner at large in Brighton. She would pay children to buy chocolate creams from the same sweet shop that she purchased the box of chocolates for Mrs. Beard from. She would inject these with strychnine, then re-wrap them and pay another child to return them. The innocent shop-keeper sold on these poisoned sweets. On 12 June 1871 this activity resulted in the death of 4-year-old Sidney Barker. Christiana even sent poisoned cakes and fruit through the mail, addressing some to herself, to try to emphasise her innocence. She was eventually caught and sentenced to death but when it transpired that she was mentally ill her sentence was commuted and she was sent to Broadmoor. She died there in 1907 aged 79. It later transpired that no less than four members of her immediate family had died as a result of mental illness


  1. I don't quite know what to think of the exhibit. I looked at it...

    Anyway as for magazines, I haven't found much to be honest. I have the two you mentioned and I picked up the Better Homes & Gardens Halloween Tricks and Treats. It has a cool section in it. I am hoping something more interesting pops up this month. I got the new Victoria in the mail and was disappointed to see they didn't do a thing for Halloween. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

    Hugs, Kelly

  2. I was pretty sure this wouldn't be for everyone... but I found it interesting for a few reasons more than just the morbidness of it.

    Alas... I suppose there shall be no more Halloween magazines this year :(

  3. Very interesting, morbid is correct.