Like all good reporters, Charles Dickens was determined to see the executions of Maria and Frederick Manning in what Victorians called [base "]the hanging of the century[per thou].

In November 1849, Dickens, a journalist as well as an author, took lodgings overlooking the execution scene. He was so appalled by the [base "]wickedness and levity[per thou] of the crowd that he wrote to The Times calling for an end to public executions.

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