Why having an editor really is vital

Tongue in cheek editing (Barb's WAY better than this)

Tongue in cheek editing (Barb's WAY better than this)

My editor Barb is all kinds of fabulous but she made a couple really good catches this weekend while doing a final vet of Books 1-3.

1. In Book 3 I make reference to a District Attorney in Scotland. Turns out Scotland didn’t call their District Attorneys that at all, especially in 1930; after a bit of research, I think the character could be what is called a Procurator fiscal who “present cases for the prosecution in the Sheriff, District and Justice of the Peace Courts” .

Sound right? I will have to do some more research to be sure.

2. In Book 3 again, Portia refers to the fate of one of her earlier clients, Mr. Barclay as “living out his days at Wandsworth Prison.” Thing is, as Barb pointed out, Mr. Barclay was proven to have pre-meditated the murder of his father, and perhaps would have been given the death penalty rather than life in prison.

The Death Penalty in England was not abolished until 1969 according to Wikipedia.
Two current (for the book’s setting) examples given in the Wikipedia article were:
  • 1923, 9 January: Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters, in London’s Holloway and Pentonville Prisons respectively, for the murder of Thompson’s husband. The case was controversial because, although the two lovers had discussed the possible elimination of her husband in advance, Thompson did not directly participate in the murder for which she was hanged.
  • 1931, 3 January: Victor Betts for murder committed during the course of a robbery. The case had established that a person need not be present when a crime is committed to be regarded as an accessory after the fact.[45]
BUT
“Between 1900 and 1949, 621 men and 11 women were executed in England and Wales. Ten German agents were executed during the First World War under the Defence of the Realm Act 1914,[6] and 16 spies were executed during the Second World War under the Treachery Act 1940.[7] “

I <think> I am safe in leaving Charles Barclay, a member of the elite of London, son to a highly respected judge, to live out his days at Wandsworth.

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