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The Saturday Review described it as “One of the most disgusting public exhibitions which has been witnessed in this generation.” When Charles Bravo died in agony in 1876, authorities were stumped as to whether it was suicide, manslaughter, or murder. Everyone seemed guilty, from his scandalous widow to her former lover to the sulking groom. The case was a Victorian cause célèbre, as Bravo died only four months after his marriage to a beautiful, wealthy woman.

This online lecture, led by Amy Milne-Smith, will explore how a Victorian marriage could go so terribly wrong. Along the way we’ll learn about law, medicine, and the art of detection.

Lecture Video

Review the lecture transcript.

Further Reading and Resources



About the Instructor

Amy Milne-Smith is an Associate History Professor who teaches British and Imperial history. She has previously led seminars for the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning on Victorian Whitechapel and Mental Illness. She researches men and mental illness in Victorian Britain and the British military and wrote a book entitled London Clubland: A Cultural History of Gender and Class in Late-Victorian Britain.

About Lifelong Learning at Home

Lifelong Learning at Home is a free weekly series featuring pre-recorded lectures from some well-known Laurier faculty and community experts. Visit the Lifelong Learning at Home section to explore other lectures and to find out more about this limited series offered by the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning.

Lifelong Learning at Home was created to connect people through lifelong learning during this time of unprecedented challenges. Many Laurier students are experiencing significant financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are in a position to do so, you can help us support our students by donating to Laurier's COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which provides emergency financial support, health and wellness support and teaching and learning support during this challenging time.