(c) 2016 Mount Merrion Historical Society
8.00pm, Thursday 5th October, 2023
Mount Merrion Community Centre
Presented by Thomas Morris
The Broadstone Mystery:
investigating a murder in Victorian Dublin
One Friday afternoon in November 1856, the chief cashier of Dublin's Broadstone railway terminus, George Little, was found dead in his office. He had been brutally murdered. The room was locked, there was no sign of a weapon, and hundreds of pounds in cash lay untouched on his desk. The crime seemed to defy explanation: what was the motive behind this savage attack, if not robbery? Who was the killer, and how had they disappeared from a busy station without a trace?
Thomas Morris is a writer and historian. After a degree in music at the University of Oxford he joined the BBC, where he worked as a radio producer for almost twenty years, making speech programmes including Front Row, The Film Programme and In Our Time. His first book, a history of cardiac surgery entitled The Matter of the Heart, won a 2015 Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for a debut work of non-fiction. It was followed by The Mystery of The Exploding Teeth, which was named by Mental Floss as one of the best science books of 2018 and was a bestseller in Brazil. The Dublin Railway Murder, his account of a real-life Victorian murder mystery, was published in 2021 and last year was shortlisted for a Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for non-fiction.
The death of George Little resulted in the most extensive and dramatic investigation in the history of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. In this talk, Thomas Morris explains how a remarkable cache of government documents in the National Archives of Ireland allowed him to piece together an unusually complete account of a Victorian murder inquiry - from the detectives' interviews with witnesses to the private fears of government ministers.