Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England

Author: Ian Ward

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 178225370X

Category: Law

Page: 160

View: 3708


The Victorians worried about many things, prominent among their worries being the 'condition' of England and the 'question' of its women. Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England revisits these particular anxieties, concentrating more closely upon four 'crimes' which generated especial concern amongst contemporaries: adultery, bigamy, infanticide and prostitution. Each engaged questions of sexuality and its regulation, legal, moral and cultural, for which reason each attracted the considerable interest not just of lawyers and parliamentarians, but also novelists and poets and perhaps most importantly those who, in ever-larger numbers, liked to pass their leisure hours reading about sex and crime. Alongside statutes such as the 1857 Matrimonial Causes Act and the 1864 Contagious Diseases Act, Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England contemplates those texts which shaped Victorian attitudes towards England's 'condition' and the 'question' of its women: the novels of Dickens, Thackeray and Eliot, the works of sensationalists such as Ellen Wood and Mary Braddon, and the poetry of Gabriel and Christina Rossetti. Sex, Crime and Literature in Victorian England is a richly contextual commentary on a critical period in the evolution of modern legal and cultural attitudes to the relation of crime, sexuality and the family.

Femininity, Crime and Self-Defence in Victorian Literature and Society

From Dagger-Fans to Suffragettes

Author: E. Godfrey

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137284560

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 3333


This exploration into the development of women's self-defence from 1850 to 1914 features major writers, including H.G. Wells, Elizabeth Robins and Richard Marsh, and encompasses an unusually wide-ranging number of subjects from hatpin crimes to the development of martial arts for women.

Crime and Law in England, 1750–1840

Remaking Justice from the Margins

Author: Peter King

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139459495

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 9814


How was law made in England in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Through detailed studies of what the courts actually did, Peter King argues that parliament and the Westminster courts played a less important role in the process of law making than is usually assumed. Justice was often remade from the margins by magistrates, judges and others at the local level. His book also focuses on four specific themes - gender, youth, violent crime and the attack on customary rights. In doing so it highlights a variety of important changes - the relatively lenient treatment meted out to women by the late eighteenth century, the early development of the juvenile reformatory in England before 1825, i.e. before similar changes on the continent or in America, and the growing intolerance of the courts towards everyday violence. This study is invaluable reading to anyone interested in British political and legal history.

The Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature

The Danger and the Sexual Threat

Author: Jennifer Hedgecock

Publisher: Cambria Press

ISBN: 1604975180

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 230

View: 6843


The Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature is a Marxist-Feminist reading of the Femme Fatale in nineteenth-century British literature that examines the changing social and economic status of women from the 1860s through the 1880s, and rejects the stereotypical mid-Victorian femme fatale portrayed by conservative ideologues critiquing popular fiction by Wilkie Collins, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Honore de Balzac, and William Makepeace Thackeray. In these book reviews, the female protagonist is simply minimized to a dangerous woman. Refuting this one-dimensional characterization, this book argues that the femme fatale comes to represent the real-life struggles of the middle-class Victorian woman who overcomes major adversities such as poverty, abusive husbands, abandonment, single parenthood, limited job opportunities, the criminal underworld, and Victorian society's harsh invective against her. To overcome these hardships, she reverses her socioeconomic status, an act which demonstrates her self-reliance compared to other Victorian feminine literary figures. The femme fatale, in fact, becomes a precursor to the campaigns against the Contagious Diseases Acts, to the emergence of the New Woman, movements that illustrate more empowering subject positions of women during the later part of the nineteenth century, and subverts patriarchal constructions of domesticity and "fallenness" used to undermine women. More specifically, the femme fatale in the mid-century novel is a protest against representations of women as fallen and domestic. The Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature will be an important book for scholars in literature and Women's Studies."

Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England

Author: Louise A. Jackson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134736649

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 1275


Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England is the first detailed investigation of the way that child abuse was discovered, debated, diagnosed and dealt with in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The focus is placed on the child and his or her experience of court procedure and welfare practice, thereby providing a unique and important evaluation of the treatment of children in the courtroom. Through a series of case studies, including analyses of the criminal courts, the author examines the impact of legislation at grass roots level, and demonstrates why this was a formative period in the legal definition of sexual abuse. Providing a much-needed insight into Victorian attitudes, including that of Christian morality, this book makes a distinctive contribution to the history of crime, social welfare and the family. It also offers a valuable critique of current work on the history of children's homes and institutions, arguing that the inter-personal relationships of children and carers is a crucial area of study.

The Sexual Revolution in Modern English Literature

Author: Charles I. Glicksberg

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 940119548X

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 201

View: 389


The study of its literature is a useful guide to the degree of sexual security existing in a culture. ' When a future historian comes to treat of the social taboos of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in a fourteen-volume life-work, his theories of the existence of an enormous secret language of bawdry and an immense oral literature of obscene stories and rhymes known, in various degrees of initiation, to every man and woman in the country, yet never consigned to writing or openly admitted as existing, will be treated as a chimerical notion by the enlightened age in which he writes. " If I were asked to name some characteristics typical of the mid-20th century, I would put first the uncritical worship of money, the spread of nationalism, the tyranny of the orgasm, the homosexual protest and the apotheosis of snobbery. Money, sex, and social climbing motivate society. " The English are, on the whole, an inhibited people. They have a basic prudery and gaucheness in sex matters which sets them apart from almost every other nation in Europe. . . . In England, the realisation that many of the restraints and taboos of Victorian times are unnatural and even psychologically harmful, combined with the decline of organized religion, has led to a considerable laxity in sex matters, particularly since World War II. ' 1.

Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England

Author: Carol Dyhouse

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113624817X

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 9479


Girls learn about "femininity" from childhood onwards, first through their relationships in the family, and later from their teachers and peers. Using sources which vary from diaries to Inspector’s reports, this book studies the socialization of middle- and working-class girls in late Victorian and early-Edwardian England. It traces the ways in which schooling at all social levels at this time tended to reinforce lessons in the sexual division of labour and patterns of authority between men and women, which girls had already learned at home. Considering the social anxieties that helped to shape the curriculum offered to working-class girls through the period 1870-1920, the book goes on to focus on the emergence of a social psychology of adolescent girlhood in the early-twentieth century and finally, examines the relationship between feminism and girls’ education.

A History of Infanticide in Britain, c. 1600 to the Present

Author: A. Kilday

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137349123

Category: History

Page: 338

View: 6406


The killing of new-born children is an intensely emotional and emotive subject. The hidden nature of this crime has made it an area incredibly difficult subject area for historians to approach up until now. This work provides the first detailed history of infanticide in mainland Britain from 1600 to the modern era.

Police Courts in Nineteenth-Century Scotland, Volume 1

Magistrates, Media and the Masses

Author: Professor Susan Broomhall,Dr David G Barrie

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1472400666

Category: History

Page: 534

View: 4931


Taking the form of two companion volumes, Police Courts in Nineteenth-Century Scotland represents the first major investigation into summary justice in Scottish towns, c.1800 to 1892. Volume 1, with the subtitle Magistrates, Media and the Masses, provides an institutional, social and cultural history of the establishment, development and practice of police courts. It explores their rise, purpose and internal workings, and how justice was administered and experienced by those who attended them in a variety of roles.