Female Transgression in Early Modern Britain

Auteur(s): Edited by Richard Hillman and Pauline Ruberry-Blanc

Date de parution: 2 July 2014

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Presenting a broad spectrum of reflections on the subject of female transgression in early modern Britain, this volume proposes a richly productive dialogue between literary and historical approaches to the topic. The essays presented here cover a range of ‘transgressive’ women: daughters, witches, prostitutes, thieves; mothers/wives/murderers; violence in NW England; violence in Scotland; single mothers; women as (sexual) partners in crime. Contributions illustrate the dynamic relation between fiction and fact that informs literary and socio-historical analysis alike, exploring female transgression as a process, not of crossing fixed boundaries, but of negotiating the epistemological space between representation and documentation.

Contents:  Introduction, Richard Hillman and Pauline Ruberry-Blanc. Part I Imag(in)ing Female Transgression and Transgressors: Criminalising the woman’s incest: Pericles and its analogues, Richard Hillman; Body crimes: the witches, Lady Macbeth and the relics, Diane Purkiss; The Witch of Edmonton: the witch next door or Faustian anti-heroine?, Pauline Ruberry-Blanc; Fact versus fiction: the construction of the figure of the prostitute in early modern England, official and popular discourses, Frédérique Fouassier-Tate; Appropriating a famous female offender: Mary Frith (1584?-1659), alias Moll Cutpurse, Pascale Drouet. Part II Reading (into) the Social Picture: Mothers, wives and killers: marital status and homicide in London, 1674-1790, Marisha Caswell; Women and violence in 17th- and 18th- century England: evidence from the Cheshire Court of Great Sessions, James Sharpe; ‘Angels with dirty faces’: violent women in early modern Scotland, Anne-Marie Kilday; ‘The lowest and most abandoned trull of a soldier’: the crime of bastardy in early 18th-century London, Jennine Hurl-Eamon; Coverture and criminal forfeiture in English law, Krista Kesselring. Index.