Au Revoir Now Darlint: The Letters of Edith Thompson
By Laura Thompson
The first book to publish in full the letters that led to Edith Thompson’s execution in 1923.
About the book
A hundred years ago, on the night of 3 October 1922, a thirty-two-year-old clerk named Percy Thompson was stabbed to death as he walked home to his suburban villa in Ilford. With him was his wife, twenty-eight-year-old Edith. His killer was Edith’s lover: Frederick Bywaters, a merchant seaman aged twenty. Bywaters was hanged for murder on 9 January 1923. So too was Edith Thompson.
There was no evidence, of any kind, that she was involved with the killing. What condemned Edith were the letters that she had written to her lover, which were interpreted by the law as incitement to murder. These letters are remarkable documents. Charged with the vitality of Edith's voice, they are moving, perplexing, maddening, banal, spectacularly sensual, infused with a stream-of-consciousness immediacy. And they have never been collected in print, until now.
In Au Revoir Now Darlint Laura Thompson – author of the CWA Gold Dagger-shortlisted Rex vs Edith Thompson – gathers the letters together alongside illuminating commentary to tell the story of an ordinary life and an extraordinary imagination that ultimately led to appalling tragedy.