Twisting in the Wind

Twisting in the Wind

The Murderess and the English Press

eBook - 1998
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Univ of Toronto Pr

Murders by women were sensationalized in the English press during the 19th-century. Knelman analyses histories of different kinds of murder and explores how press representations of the murderess contributed to the Victorian construction of femininity.


Women accused of murder in nineteenth-century England got bad press. Broadsides, newspapers, and books depicted their stories in gruesome detail, often with illustrations of the crime scene, the courtroom proceedings, and the execution. This sensational coverage fed the public appetite for stories of female deviancy and punishment.

Judith Knelman contends that the portrayal of murder by women was linked to a broader public agenda, set and controlled by men. Women were expected to be devoted to giving and sustaining life. Aggression was "masculine." Thus a woman who killed posed a threat to patriarchal authority.

Knelman describes the range and incidence of murder by women in England. She analyses case histories of different kinds of murder, and explores how press representations of the murderess contributed to the Victorian construction of femininity. She also suggests that class and gender discrimination pushed women to kill.

Twisting in the Wind is a comprehensive and balanced account that will appeal to true crime fans, sociologists, criminologists, historians, and researchers in women's studies.


Women accused of murder in nineteenth-century England got bad press. Broadsides, newspapers, and books depicted their stories in gruesome detail, often with illustrations of the crime scene, the courtroom proceedings, and the execution. This sensational coverage fed the public appetite for stories of female deviancy and punishment.

Judith Knelman contends that the portrayal of murder by women was linked to a broader public agenda, set and controlled by men. Women were expected to be devoted to giving and sustaining life. Aggression was "masculine." Thus a woman who killed posed a threat to patriarchal authority.

Knelman describes the range and incidence of murder by women in England. She analyses case histories of different kinds of murder, and explores how press representations of the murderess contributed to the Victorian construction of femininity. She also suggests that class and gender discrimination pushed women to kill.

Twisting in the Wind is a comprehensive and balanced account that will appeal to true crime fans, sociologists, criminologists, historians, and researchers in women's studies.



University of Toronto Press

Women accused of murder in nineteenth-century England got bad press. Broadsides, newspapers, and books depicted their stories in gruesome detail, often with illustrations of the crime scene, the courtroom proceedings, and the execution. This sensational coverage fed the public appetite for stories of female deviancy and punishment.

Judith Knelman contends that the portrayal of murder by women was linked to a broader public agenda, set and controlled by men. Women were expected to be devoted to giving and sustaining life. Aggression was "masculine." Thus a woman who killed posed a threat to patriarchal authority.

Knelman describes the range and incidence of murder by women in England. She analyses case histories of different kinds of murder, and explores how press representations of the murderess contributed to the Victorian construction of femininity. She also suggests that class and gender discrimination pushed women to kill.

Twisting in the Wind is a comprehensive and balanced account that will appeal to true crime fans, sociologists, criminologists, historians, and researchers in women's studies.

Publisher: Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, ┬ę1998
ISBN: 9781442682818
1442682817
0802029159
9780802029157
9780802074201
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 322 pages) : illustrations

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