Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination

Halttunen, Karen (Fellow, 1994-95)

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998

From the publisher's description:

Confronting murder in the newspaper, on screen, and in sensational trials, we often feel the killer is fundamentally incomprehensible and morally alien. But this was not always the popular response to murder. In Murder Most Foul, Karen Halttunen explores the changing view of murder from early New England sermons read at the public execution of murderers, through the nineteenth century, when secular and sensational accounts replaced the sacred treatment of the crime, to today’s true crime literature and tabloid reports.


Subjects: Literature;; Murder; Gothic Fiction; Religion; Crime; Cultural History