A Horrible Looking Woman: Female Violence in Late-Victorian East London

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Scholars have attributed a steep decline in violent crime in nineteenth-century England to a civilizing offensive launched to discipline violent masculinities. In East London, however, a significant minority of those brought before summary courts on charges of violent offenses were women. Newspaper accounts of these cases show that some women committed assaults that resembled the violent actions of men. The courts and newspapers evaluated defendants against standards of femininity. Those women who successfully performed dominant versions of femininity received lenient treatment in the courts and approval in the newspapers. The courts harshly punished those who did not conform. These accounts reveal a campaign against disorderly femininities that paralleled the civilizing offensive directed against unruly masculinities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-868
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of British Studies
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015

Fingerprint

femininity
violence
newspaper
masculinity
violent crime
assault
nineteenth century
campaign
minority
offense
East London
Late-Victorian
Femininity
Masculinity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Cite this

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A Horrible Looking Woman : Female Violence in Late-Victorian East London. / August, Andrew Gregory.

In: Journal of British Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4, 02.09.2015, p. 844-868.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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