The Adventures of a Victorian Con Woman by Mick Davis and David Lassman

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Non Fiction carved into wood
Book cover two men and 1 woman in victorian clothing
"Non Fiction" words carved into wood

Mrs. Gordon Baillie, or Annie, is a Victorian con woman that I knew nothing about before picking up this book. I loved reading about her wide variety of ways in which to swindle people out of something, and it was exciting to learn about her ways of escape just before she would have been caught.

There were some parts that created a more humorous view of Annie’s situations, and I enjoyed those as I found myself laughing out loud! The story is written so that while we are learning about her, it feels more like a story and less like a non-fiction history book. It was a good mix of info and story.

Book cover two men and 1 woman in Victorian clothing

I thought that this was a well-researched novel with information that was put together in a wonderful, and enjoyable way! It was so interesting to read, and I think that readers that enjoy learning about infamous females in history will enjoy this!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Adventures of a Victorian Con Woman to readers that enjoy a a non-fiction book with details that create a narrative that feels like a story.

Where to Find This Book:

The Adventures of a Victorian Con Woman by Mick Davis and David Lassman is available at these sites.

Amazon ~ Kindle ~ Goodreads

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The story of Mrs. Gordon Baillie is stranger than anything to be met with in the field of fiction.’

Mrs. Gordon Baillie, known throughout her life as Annie, was born in the direst poverty in the small Scottish fishing town of Peterhead in 1848. Illegitimate and illiterate, her beauty and intelligence nevertheless enabled her to overcome her circumstances and become a charming and wealthy socialite living a life of luxury while raising money for worthy causes and charitable works.

Behind her supposed perfect and contented life, however, lay one of the most notorious and compulsive swindlers of the Victorian Age. Her fraudulent fundraising and larger-than-life schemes played out across four decades and three continents, and involved land owners, crofters, aristocrats, politicians, bankers, socialist revolutionaries, operatic stars, and the cultural icons of the day.

She became mistress to a rich aristocrat, married a world-renowned male opera singer and later took as a lover a vicar’s son with anarchist tendencies. For most of her ‘career’ she kept one step ahead of the law and her nemesis, Inspector Henry Marshall of Scotland Yard, but finally becoming undone through her own compulsion for petty theft, despite her amassed fortune.

During her life she used more than 40 aliases, produced four children and spent her way through millions in ill-gotten wealth. But at the turn of the twentieth century, her notoriety was such that she took refuge in America and disappeared from history.

Just the Facts:

The Adventures of a Victorian Con Woman by Mick Davis and David Lassman
Subtitle: The Life and Crimes of Mrs Gordon Baillie
Genre: Non-Fiction
Page Count: 360 
Publisher: Pen and Sword History
Pub Date: February 28, 2021

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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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