Written between 1839 and 1841, Celebrated Crimes is an 8-volume collection of 18 essays based upon historical facts of famous criminals and the crimes they committed. The Borgias, The Cenci, Massacres Of The South, Mary Stuart, Karl-Ludwig Sand, Urbain Grandier, Nisida, Derues, La Constantin, Joan Of Naples, The Man In The Iron Mask (essay), Martin Guerre, Ali Pacha, The Countess De Saint Geran, Murat, The Marquise De Brinvilliers, Vaninka, The Marquise De Ganges.
On the 8th of April, 1492, in a bedroom of the Carneggi Palace, about three miles from Florence, were three men grouped about a bed whereon a fourth lay dying. The first of these three men, sitting at the foot of the bed, and half hidden, that he might conceal his tears, in the gold–brocaded curtains, was Ermolao Barbaro, author of the treatise ‘On Celibacy’, and of ‘Studies in Pliny’: the year before, when he was at Rome in the capacity of ambassador of the Florentine Republic, he had been appointed Patriarch of Aquileia by Innocent VIII. The second, who was kneeling and holding one hand of the dying man between his own, was Angelo Poliziano, the Catullus of the fifteenth century, a classic of the lighter sort, who in his Latin verses might have been mistaken for a poet of the Augustan age. The third, who was standing up and leaning against one of the twisted columns of the bed–head, following with profound sadness the progress of the malady which he read in the face of his departing friend, was the famous Pico della Mirandola, who at the age of twenty could speak twenty–two languages, and who had offered to reply in each of these languages to any seven hundred questions that might be put to him by the twenty most learned men in the whole world, if they could be assembled at Florence.