Quotation by Anonymous

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
Anonymous. Late 19th century ballad.

The quatrain refers to the famous case of Lizzie Borden, tried for the murder of her father and stepmother on Aug. 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts. Though she was found innocent, there were many who contested the verdict, occasioning a prodigious output of articles and books, including, most recently, Frank Spiering's Lizzie (1985), which points the finger at Lizzie's elder sister, Emma.
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