Guide for Reading Groups
1. What do you find to approve of or criticise in the
actions of each of the following characters?
- Mary Ball
- Will Bacon
- Jane Ball
- Justice Coleridge
2. In what way does the historical background provide an
active contribution to the novel? In other words; does it make
the novel more interesting, entertaining or exciting?
3. One of the questions the novel poses is: what might have
been if Mary had got away with what she did, if for example
the original diagnosis of death by natural causes hadn’t
been questioned or if the jury had found her Not Guilty. Would
the world have been a worse place if she had not been punished?
When reading the book, did you at any time wish she had not
been tried at all?
4. What relevance to today, especially with regard to the
position of women in our and other societies, do you see in
5. What is your favourite scene in the book and why?
6. Does the book make you want to know more about the
purely factual story of Mary Ball or even to question the
correctness of the guilty verdict? If your group wants to find
out more about this, please contact Eugep (EmailAdresse) or