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October 6, 2016

Author to sign book about Reconstruction murder

Happy Creek Coffee & Tea in The Plains on Saturday, Oct. 8, will host the author of a new book about the shooting of Prince William County’s prosecutor during Reconstruction and the subsequent murder trial.

Arwen Bicknell’s will discuss and sign copies of her book, “Justice and Vengeance: Scandal, Honor, and Murder in 1872 Virginia,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the shop at 6485 Main St.

Ms. Bickwell’s debut work details a local event that features crime, drama and history, all wrapped up in one. In “Justice and Vengeance,” she offers the first full account of the events leading up to the shooting of Commonwealth's Attorney James Clark by local scion Lucien Fewell and the sensational, headline-grabbing murder trial that followed.

The events took place against the backdrop of Reconstruction, tumultuous Virginia politics and the presidential election of 1872, featuring Ulysses Grant, Horace Greeley and protofeminist Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate.

Ms. Bicknell paints a vivid picture of the evolving South as she traces the families and fortunes of Mr. Fewell, a hell-raiser with a passion for drink and for abusing Yankees and scalawags, and of Mr. Clark, a rising legal and political star with a wife, a daughter and a baby on the way.

The 294-page paperback book sells for $16.95.
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