Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Queen Victoria's Stalker

Jan Bondeson's latest book deals with the incredible story of Edward Jones, his embarrassing predilection for breaking into Buckingham Palace, and the extreme measures used to deal with him including a secret trial, hard labour, forced conscription, and ultimately, transportation to Australia. 

The nuisance caused by the boy was exacerbated as much by public outrage over the evident holes in their young queen's security, as it was for the fascination he held for the pressFew characters caught the Victorian imagination quite like "The Boy Jones," whose break-ins at Buckingham Palace made him an unlikely hero of newspapers, comic periodicals, cartoons and penny dreadfuls. 

In 1884, more than forty years after the fact, Charles Dickens' published an entertaining version of the story in his periodical, All the Year Round.



Jones was eventually deported to Australia where he died, under something of a cloud, at the age of 70 in 1893.

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