Lizzie Borden Took An Axe, Or Did She? A Rhetorical Inquiry By Annette M. Holba


We've heard the rhyme: Lizzie Borden took an axe, And gave her mother forty whacks, When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one. But what do we really know about this infamous case of murder that occurred over one hundred years ago? Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, or Did She? is a collection of essays, written by a teacher-scholar (and a former Prosecutor's Detective), that that explore various interesting questions that have virtually remained unexplained for over one hundred years. What was Lizzie Borden's sexual orientation? Why did Lizzie Borden change her name after her public acquittal? What is the value of Edwin Porter's The Fall River Tragedy then and now? What role did media and gender play in this public spectacle? What was the relationship between John Morse and Bridget Sullivan? These and other questions are explored through rhetorical, narrative, and common sense theories to help us critically engage this captivating case. Whether you are reading this book for a class or reading it for fun outside of an academic setting, this book was written to engage the story of Lizzie Andrew Borden from refreshing new perspectives.