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March 1, 2023 39 min

Eliza Fenning worked as a cook in a London household until she found herself in the middle of a poisoning accusation. Her controversial trial brought the bias of the 19th-century British criminal justice system into focus. 


  • “Circumstantial Evidence.” The Abilene Gazette. June 23, 1876.
  • Hempel, Sarah. “The Inheritor’s Powder.”  W. W. Norton & Company. 2013.
  • Hempel, Sarah. “Eliza Fenning: the case of the poisoned dumplings.” The Telegraph. June 17, 2013.
  • Clarke, Kate. “Trial of Eliza Fenning.” Mango Books. May 2021.
  • “Circumstantial evidence : The extraordinary case of Eliza Fenning, who was executed in 1815, for attempting to poison the family of Orlibar Turner, by mixing arsenic in yeast dumplings. With a statement of facts, since developed tending to prove her innocence of the crime.”
  • Watkins, John. “The important results of an elaborate investigation into the mysterious case of Elizabeth Fenning: being a detail of extraordinary facts discovered since her execution, including the official report of her singular trial, now first published, and copious notes thereon.” London. William Hone. 1815. Accessed online:
  • MARSHALL, TIM. “Not Forgotten: Eliza Fenning, ‘Frankenstein’, and Victorian Chivalry.” Critical Survey, vol. 13, no. 2, 2001, pp. 98–114. JSTOR,
  • “The Story of Eliza Fenning.” The Wells Journal. August 8, 1857.


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