DiscoverLady Killers with Lucy Worsley16. Edith Thompson - Modern Woman on Trial
16. Edith Thompson - Modern Woman on Trial

16. Edith Thompson - Modern Woman on Trial

Update: 2023-04-245


In this episode of Lady Killers, we travel back to the Roaring 20s as Lucy Worsley and guest detective Sasha Wass KC investigate how Edith Thompson, a woman who merely witnessed the violent killing of her husband, found herself on trial for his murder.

Sasha Wass KC has taken on some of the legal system's most notable cases - involving Rosemary West, Rolf Harris and Johnny Depp. As a judge, prosecutor and defender, she has the benefit of understanding all dimensions of the criminal process, which is crucial when examining one of the most controversial cases of all time. It’s a trial that shook the nation.

Edith Thompson, with her choppy bobbed hair and jaunty dresses is the quintessential ‘Flapper’. A working woman living in the rapidly expanding London suburb of Ilford, she’s one of the new commuters, travelling to her job at Carlton and Pryor (a wholesale milliners in the City of London), producers of some very fashionable hats.
She teaches herself French and goes on buying trips to Paris. She spends her own money, frequenting theatres and dancing the nights away.

But back in the suburbs, Lucy and Sasha discover how Edith Thompson lives another, less glamorous life with husband Percy. While Edith is embracing some of the new found freedoms of a 1920’s woman, Percy wants a more ‘traditional’ wife.

Then, on the night of 3rd October 1922, their life together takes a very dramatic turn when Percy is fatally stabbed by a mysterious stranger.

As Lucy and Sasha discuss the now infamous court hearing, historian Professor Rosalind Crone visits the Ilford streets where Edith lived and where our bloody murder took place, to discover what life was really like for our 1920’s ‘murderess’.

Producer: Nicola Humphries
Readers: Clare Corbett and Jonathan Keeble
Sound Design: Chris Maclean
Series Producer Julia Hayball

A StoryHunter production for BBC Radio 4









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16. Edith Thompson - Modern Woman on Trial

16. Edith Thompson - Modern Woman on Trial

BBC Radio 4