The Edwards Mystery: The story of Miss Lizzie Pickford

Any hopes that the her family had of maintaining the idea that Miss Edwards left Liverpool against her will were dashed when Lizzie Pickford, the woman with whom she stayed in London, gave an extensive interview. Describing what the two women did together, her tale leaves several unanswered questions. Because Lizzie Pickford was an actress. And in Victorian times, that could mean several things. What did Miss Edwards do in London? What were her intentions? And who exactly was Miss Lizzie Pickford?

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The Edwards Mystery: An inexplicable disappearance in broad daylight

Early in the afternoon of Wednesday 3 September 1879, an 18-year-old woman called Miss Edwards set out for the centre of Liverpool from her home in the West Derby area of Liverpool. She took the omnibus – a horse-drawn vehicle taking passengers in the same way that a modern bus does – and disembarked at London Road, a very busy street in the centre of Liverpool about a mile-and-a-half from her home. Her subsequent disappearance sent shockwaves through Liverpool and became a national sensation. In the 46 days she was missing, reports appeared in newspapers across the country speculating where she was, and what might have happened to her. The story became known as the “Edwards Mystery” or “Liverpool Mystery” and took on a life of its own.

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