“Pills of White Mercury” (Unfortunate Rake, Part One)

Murder ballads help us chart the frontiers of our empathy. They provide the chance to connect emotionally with victims and villains; sometimes with sympathy, sometimes with revulsion. Through them, we inhabit the perspectives of the dead and dying, witnesses and bystanders, and often the poor souls who, rightly or wrongly, voluntarily or in desperation, take the lives … → read more