ⓘ Malice Aforethought is a crime novel written by Anthony Berkeley Cox, using the pen name Francis Iles. It is an early and prominent example of the inverted dete ..

Malice Aforethought

ⓘ Malice Aforethought

Malice Aforethought is a crime novel written by Anthony Berkeley Cox, using the pen name Francis Iles. It is an early and prominent example of the "inverted detective story", claimed to have been invented by R. Austin Freeman some years earlier. The murderers identity is revealed in the first line of the novel, which gives the reader insight into the workings of his mind as his plans progress. It also contains elements of black comedy, and of serious treatment of underlying tensions in a superficially respectable community. It is loosely based on the real-life case of Herbert Armstrong, with elements of Doctor Crippen.


1. Plot summary

Edmund Bickleigh, a physician with a modest rural practice, is in a loveless marriage with the domineering childless Julia, He consoles himself with young unmarried women, in particular the accommodating Ivy. In his village arrives Madeleine, a rich young woman, who succumbs to his attentions but warns she will not marry him if he divorces. Reasoning that she will however marry him if he is a widower, he cruelly starts to poison Julia. To relieve her increasing pain he gives her increasing doses of morphine, until she dies miserably.

Madeleine then rejects him, to marry a wealthy young man, while the rejected Ivy also marries a well-off lawyer. Rumours start spreading that Julias death was not accidental, fuelled by the antagonism towards Edmund of Madeleines husband and Ivys husband, who both bitterly resent that he was the seducer of their wives. Attempting to stop the gossip, Edmund poisons both men and Madeleine as well, though only Madeleines husband dies. Not unaware of the rumours and the suspicious deaths, the police investigate and Edmund is put on trial. Acquitted of murdering his unfortunate wife, a second trial convicts him for the death of Madeleines husband and he is executed.


2. Adaptations

The novel has been adapted for television twice.

The first was a four-part serial by the BBC in 1979, starring Hywel Bennett as Dr. Bickleigh, Cheryl Campbell as Madeleine, and Judy Parfitt as Julia. It later aired in 1981 was featured in the US PBS series, Mystery!, introduced by Vincent Price.

A second adaptation Malice Aforethought, starring Ben Miller as Dr. Bickleigh, Megan Dodds as Madeleine, and Barbara Flynn as Julia, was produced by Granada Television and broadcast on ITV in 2005. It too has been shown on Mystery! in 2005.

  • Brown s Schooldays. His other television credits include Colditz, Malice Aforethought Hex, Mansfield Park and Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye. He played
  • Neverwhere 1996 Bennett also starred in the four - part BBC mini - series Malice Aforethought 1979 based on a novel written in the 1920s by Francis Iles. Bennett s
  • voluntary manslaughter. Traditionally, the mens rea for murder was malice aforethought While murder and voluntary manslaughter are both intentional homicides
  • immense political acumen. See Bose, Mihir, Britain s Libel Laws: Malice Aforethought History Today, 5 May 2013. Roy Jenkins wrote of his former colleagues
  • Leonard also wrote a novela called Fortran 5, which was published by Malice Aforethought Press. 1991 - Blues Mute Records 1993 - Bad Head Park Mute Records
  • 1980 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for Testament of Youth and Malice Aforethought and the 1982 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Revival for A Doll s
  • definition for the same term: the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought or the premeditated killing of a human being The lexical definition
  • so not combined with other facts constituting an offence so if malice aforethought has not been proven, a criminal will never receive a sentence of
  • of his or her rights, while someone else unknowingly and without malice aforethought acts in a manner inconsistent with their rights. As a result of acquiescence
  • appeared with Gisele Bundchen. She has appeared in Sharpe s Challenge, Malice Aforethought North and South with Richard Armitage, Whatever Love Means, and
  • of North Carolina defines malicious castration: If any person, of malice aforethought shall unlawfully castrate any other person, or cut off, maim or
  • oneself from imminent peril to life or great bodily injury negates malice aforethought the mental element necessary for a murder charge, so that the chargeable

Users also searched: