Lucy Bland
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Introduction
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines a libel case, brought by a well-known female dancer against a maverick right-wing MP for the accusation of lesbianism. It looks at two inquests and three magistrate-court trials that involved women and drugs. The conundrum acts as a catalyst, opening up a fascinating terrain of questions concerning the law, the press, the public, young women and issues of morality. The book focuses on Edith Thompson; one way of accessing court proceedings has been via the account of the trial published as part of the Notable British Trial Series. It then focuses on Marguerite Marie Alibert Fahmy. The book centres on an extraordinary divorce case, that of Christabel Russell, involving cross-dressing, claims of a virgin birth, extreme sexual ignorance, and a particular brand of eccentric modern femininity.

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Modern women on trial

Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper

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