A Fine Day for a Hanging

  • by Carol Ann Lee
  • Narrated by Maggie Ollerenshaw
  • 16 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1955, former nightclub manageress Ruth Ellis shot dead her lover, David Blakely. Following a trial that lasted less than two days, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. She became the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and her execution is the most notorious of hangman Albert Pierrepoint's 'duties'. Despite Ruth's infamy, the story of her life has never been fully told. Often wilfully misinterpreted, the reality behind the headlines was buried by an avalanche of hearsay. But now, through new interviews and comprehensive research into previously unpublished sources, Carol Ann Lee examines the facts without agenda or sensation.
A portrait of the era and an evocation of 1950s club life in all its seedy glamour, A Fine Day for a Hanging sets Ruth's gripping story firmly in its historical context in order to tell the truth about both her timeless crime and a punishment that was very much of its time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

writer digs for deeper meaning than film version

Would you consider the audio edition of A Fine Day for a Hanging to be better than the print version?

both were very good


What was one of the most memorable moments of A Fine Day for a Hanging?

In todays world the woman would be viewed as a victim of [domestic] violence


Did the narration match the pace of the story?

fairly well


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was deeply moved by the book


Any additional comments?

it gave a very good overview of the time period in Britain

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- Elizabeth "Book are life enriching"

And I Thought I Knew Her Story

I was born less than two years after Ruth Ellis was hung or rather, as the British judicial system prefers to put it " The law must run it's course". Every time Ruth's name came up in conversation my Mom would become quite tearful. We never discussed it. I never asked. I knew that it was 'taboo'.

Like the author Carol Ann Lee I happened upon the 1980's movie 'Dance With A Stranger' and I too became totally mesmerized not only by Miranda Richardson's hypnotic performance as she 'became' Ruth Ellis, but by the tragic tale and how unfair the British system of law was seeing as this woman had only just miscarried of a child and was plainly out of her mind.

Carol Ann Lee goes far and deep into Ruth's past. Follows up on everyone involved and even explores many plausible alternative plots that I initially thought were a little 'out there' however this was the same period as the Profumo affair and it appears that there were some lines of commonality.

Maggie Ollerenshaw gave a phenomenal performance. I could listen to her reading from the Phone Book.

FIVE stars all round.

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- Julia "British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-14-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios