A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsley

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The New Taste for Blood

Series 1 - Episode 1 The New Taste for Blood



Historian Lucy Worsley has a high old time, creeping around dark corridors with a flickering candle and later dressing as a condemned killer at the Old Bailey as she wonders why the British are so obsessed by a “good murder”.

She looks at a handful of cases that transfixed the public, who sucked up every pinprick of detail in the newspapers and celebrated slayings in plays and even songs. The 1811 mass killings in the East End of London, the Ratcliffe Highway Murders, and their effect on an excitable population, attracted the attention of opium junkie and writer Thomas De Quincey, who wrote a borderline satirical essay on the slaughter. And after Maria Marten was murdered in Suffolk by her lover, the lurid melodrama Maria Marten, or The Murder in the Red Barn, became a hit stage play. Naturally Worsley dons a mobcap to play Maria.


An examination of the dark history behind Britain's fascination with murder, beginning with historian and curator Lucy Worsley exploring how notorious killings were transformed into popular entertainment in the first half of the 19th century.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Lucy Worsley
Director Gerry Dawson
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Producer Gerry Dawson
Series Producer Alastair Laurence