Lucy Bland
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Mme Fahmy’s vindication
Orientalism, miscegenation fears and female fantasy
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The 'fashionably dressed' women of the Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey trial were likely to have been attending the many plays about the 'mysterious Orient'. Marshall Hall's examination of Mme Fahmy, Marguerite Marie Alibert, concentrated on the ways in which she had been brutalised and her civil liberties denied. Just before the Old Bailey trial opened two months later, the newspapers returned to the splendorous life of the Fahmys, but it was wealth which was at once 'Orientalised'. The 'unpleasant things' may not have concerned the female audience, but certain commentators were concerned about there being a female audience at the Fahmy trial in the first place. During the trial, Hassan was highly praised for catching 'the colour and fantasy of the East, as well as its cruelty'. It was demonstrated that press commentary was pervaded by a combination of fear of miscegenation and outrage at its contemplation.

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