'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!'
The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 gripped the nation. It was a strange and stubborn case in an isolated Worcester village still bound by superstition and folklore, involving an investigation, in a time before Robert Peel's police force, that lasted nearly a quarter of a century. It turned out to be a gripping true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness in a rural community gone wildly astray.
Damn His Blood is also fascinating glimpse into the darker side of English rural life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, far away from the civilised drawing rooms of Jane Austen, with a cast of characters straight out of Hardy.
Today: two months before the murder, Oddingley village is a hotbed of feuds, oaths and superstition.
Peter Moore is a young literary historian and journalist, who is currently teaching Creative Writing at City University in London.
Abridger: Viv Beeby
Producer: Justine Willett
The Reader is Alex Jennings, who is currently appearing in The Collaborators as Mikhail Bulgakov at the National Theatre and is currently starring in Silk on BBC One.