NEWS FROM THE DEAD
New York : Roaring Brooks Press, 2008
with the voices of both Anne, a servant girl accused of murder who has
been hung and Robert, a young medical student who has come to observe her
autopsy, Newes from the Dead, an historical novel based on actual events,
offers the reader insight into Cromwell’s England, with its inherent discrimination
against lower classes, its ignorance of scientific medical knowledge and
its reprehensible treatment of those accused of crime. The book begins
with Anne lying in her coffin, assuming herself to be dead and wondering
if she has arrived in Purgatory. Reminiscently, she reflects back on her
life in a country manor and the events involving her employer’s grandson,
Geoffrey Reade, telling her tale honestly and succinctly. In parallel chapters,
Robert is observing the medical men who are present to perform Anne’s dissection.
When Robert notices that Anne’s eyelids have moved, he alerts the doctors,
who then try to find ways to restore Anne to life.
There is an author’s note at the end of the book, followed by a reproduction of the original pamphlet as it was published in 1651. (Rhode Island Teen Book Award nominee, 2010)
Greene, Anne, b. 1628 -- Fiction.
Death -- Fiction.
Household employees -- Fiction.
Executions and executioners -- Fiction.
Pregnancy -- Fiction.
Great Britain -- History -- Stuarts, 1603-1714 -- Fiction.