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The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice

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'A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing.' Hallie Rubenhold, author of the Baillie Gifford prize-winning The Five 'Brilliantly summons up one girl's life, dreams and suffering. It's ingenious history writing' Mail on Sunday 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'Historical writing does not get any better than this ... Imaginative and c 'A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing.' Hallie Rubenhold, author of the Baillie Gifford prize-winning The Five 'Brilliantly summons up one girl's life, dreams and suffering. It's ingenious history writing' Mail on Sunday 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'Historical writing does not get any better than this ... Imaginative and compelling, impassioned and powerful, and deeply, deeply moving' Matt Houlbrook, author of Prince of Tricksters and Queer London Lydia Harvey was meant to disappear. She was young and working class; she'd walked the streets, worked in brothels, and had no money of her own. In 1910, politicians, pimps, policemen and moral reformers saw her as just one of many 'girls who disappeared'. But when she took the stand to give testimony at the trial of her traffickers, she ensured she'd never be forgotten. Historian Julia Laite traces Lydia's extraordinary life from her home in New Zealand to the streets of Buenos Aires and safe houses of London. She also reveals the lives of international traffickers Antonio Carvelli and his mysterious wife Marie, the policemen who tracked them down, the journalists who stoked the scandal, and Eilidh MacDougall, who made it her life's mission to help women who'd been abused and disbelieved. Together, they tell an immersive story of crime, travel and sexual exploitation, of lives long overlooked and forgotten by history, and of a world transforming into the 20th century.


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'A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing.' Hallie Rubenhold, author of the Baillie Gifford prize-winning The Five 'Brilliantly summons up one girl's life, dreams and suffering. It's ingenious history writing' Mail on Sunday 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'Historical writing does not get any better than this ... Imaginative and c 'A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece of scholarly historical research and true crime writing.' Hallie Rubenhold, author of the Baillie Gifford prize-winning The Five 'Brilliantly summons up one girl's life, dreams and suffering. It's ingenious history writing' Mail on Sunday 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'Historical writing does not get any better than this ... Imaginative and compelling, impassioned and powerful, and deeply, deeply moving' Matt Houlbrook, author of Prince of Tricksters and Queer London Lydia Harvey was meant to disappear. She was young and working class; she'd walked the streets, worked in brothels, and had no money of her own. In 1910, politicians, pimps, policemen and moral reformers saw her as just one of many 'girls who disappeared'. But when she took the stand to give testimony at the trial of her traffickers, she ensured she'd never be forgotten. Historian Julia Laite traces Lydia's extraordinary life from her home in New Zealand to the streets of Buenos Aires and safe houses of London. She also reveals the lives of international traffickers Antonio Carvelli and his mysterious wife Marie, the policemen who tracked them down, the journalists who stoked the scandal, and Eilidh MacDougall, who made it her life's mission to help women who'd been abused and disbelieved. Together, they tell an immersive story of crime, travel and sexual exploitation, of lives long overlooked and forgotten by history, and of a world transforming into the 20th century.

49 review for The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily Bruce

    This was a really interesting and well written book! I read it all in one day

  2. 4 out of 5

    David

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phil Spencer

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Weir

  5. 5 out of 5

    Helen Heaton

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denzel

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sara Marsden

  9. 5 out of 5

    Helen

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rafferty

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katie Cormack

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zehra

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tanya Kirk

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  16. 4 out of 5

    Philip Bagley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Helen Carr

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jean W-L

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bri

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

  21. 4 out of 5

    Keira Gomez

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  23. 5 out of 5

    TorRig

  24. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maurice

  26. 4 out of 5

    James

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elliw Gwawr

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Smith

  31. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Val Pullin

  33. 5 out of 5

    Leia

  34. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Cook

  35. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Bagley

  36. 4 out of 5

    Ross

  37. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Stanley

  38. 5 out of 5

    Ambrogio

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  40. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  41. 4 out of 5

    Catelijne

  42. 4 out of 5

    Toby

  43. 5 out of 5

    Abe

  44. 4 out of 5

    Anki

  45. 4 out of 5

    J

  46. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  47. 5 out of 5

    Jane May Morrison

  48. 4 out of 5

    Kaia Landelius

  49. 4 out of 5

    Claire

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