Not Forgotten

Eliza Fenning, Frankenstein, and Victorian Chivalry

in Critical Survey
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On 18 July 1867, Charles Dickens’s weekly journal All the Year Round went back into history and told the story of a young woman who met her death on the gallows in London in 1815. ‘Old Stories Re-Told’, sub-titled ‘Eliza Fenning (The Danger of Condemning to Death on Circumstantial Evidence Alone)’, reminded its readers of a mis-carriage of justice. Speaking through one of his journalists, Walter Thornbury, Dickens performed an act of chivalry directed at the person and memory of a wronged woman. Eliza Fenning, a servant in a wealthy London household, worked for a Mr Turner, a law-stationer.