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Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper

This book looks at the highly publicised, sensational trials of several young female protagonists in the period 1918-1924. These cases, all presented by the press as morality tales involving drugs, murder, adultery, miscegenation and sexual perversion, are used as a prism through which to identify concerns about modern femininity. The book first examines a libel case, brought by a well-known female dancer against a maverick right-wing MP for the accusation of lesbianism. One aspect of this libel trial involved the drawing up of battle-lines in relation to the construction of a new, post-war womanhood. The book then looks at two inquests and three magistrate-court trials that involved women and drugs; young women in relationships with Chinese men were also effectively in the dock. One way of accessing court proceedings has been via the account of the trial published as part of the Notable British Trial Series. There are no extant trial transcripts. But there are prosecution depositions lodged at the National Archives, much press reportage, and a number of relevant memoirs, all giving a keen sense of the key issues raised by the trial. The book also focuses 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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Lucy Bland

censorship in theatre, film and literature. And from 1924 for the next five years, Britain had the most notorious ‘guardian of public morality’ for its Home Secretary that it has ever had: Sir William Joynson-Hicks (‘Jix’).24 Morality tales and the defining of Britishness/Englishness There were two key didactic aspects to the ways in which the press wrote about the trials, and they both spoke to contemporary fears – about sexual morality on the one hand, national identity on the other. All the trials were represented by the press as morality tales. Reports of the Maud

in Modern women on trial
Aeron Davis

bubble going on now. Stock markets are ridiculously over-valued but all these people are saying ‘it's wonderful’ again. It's extraordinary, no one's been booted out of anywhere for pissing away billions of pounds. And that was the final bit of the Tony Dye morality tale. Those people who had done the wrong thing, in finance and politics, had not only survived, they had flourished. Politicians and regulators everywhere took the hear no evil, see no evil, route and pinned it on the financiers

in Reckless opportunists
Christy Kulz

self and its aspirational fulfilment. This appeal to the self with unlimited potential is a powerful trope continually employed at Dreamfields to cultivate belief and compliance. This chapter explores how the techniques of discipline described in Chapter 3 are made palatable and even welcomed through promoting a belief in the institution, its methods and its benefits to individual futures. Belief is cultivated through the use of repetition and morality tales that smooth over the various contradictions and ambiguities inherent in Dreamfields’ approach. Culford

in Factories for learning
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This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.

Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.

The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.

Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.

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American horror comics as Cold War commentary and critique

Printing Terror places horror comics of the mid-twentieth century in dialogue with the anxieties of their age. It rejects the narrative of horror comics as inherently and necessarily subversive and explores, instead, the ways in which these texts manifest white male fears over America’s changing sociological landscape. It examines two eras: the pre-CCA period of the 1940s and 1950s, and the post-CCA era to 1975. The authors examine each of these periods through the lenses of war, gender, and race, demonstrating that horror comics are centred upon white male victimhood and the monstrosity of the gendered and/or racialised other. It is of interest to scholars of horror, comics studies, and American history. It is suitably accessible to be used in undergraduate classes.

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Steven Peacock

. Pitched to meet the melodramatic form, Technicolor schemes fill the film. The wealth of opulent colours on display befits a saga of being rich and lush. A brash palette moves beyond the seemingly crude morality tale of the film’s story, developing intricate motifs and deepening the psychological complexities of characters. In painting a brightly extravagant world, the film sustains a heightened register. Many scholars of Sirk

in Colour
When it’s about racism
Omar Khan

morality tale in which the Labour government, but also the Conservative opposition, particularly leader Edward Heath, led a wider establishment rejection of racism in British policymaking and public discourse. But the record is a bit more patchy, both then and now. Heath allowed the Conservative Party a free vote on the Race Relations Act that Powell spoke out against, and in the end it passed easily with only 44 votes against. But many Conservatives were deeply opposed to the Bill, with the Home Affairs spokesperson (and ‘wet’ Tory) Reginald Maudling, for example

in The free speech wars
The rise of empire in Blood Meridian
Lydia R. Cooper

, rage, and horror, and the men who traverse that land are equally barbarous. It is a novel about war and it is a novel about wandering. Blood Meridian is a quest narrative whose grail is ambiguous, an odyssey whose sailors have no home to which to return, and a biblical morality tale with no clear moral or conclusion. It is notoriously difficult to interpret, even though it is regarded by most scholars and by McCarthy’s legion of fans as among his best work. Because it is an (the?) American western, whatever its conclusions, critics tend to concur that Blood

in Cormac McCarthy
Steve Blandford

of a city in the grip of a heroin epidemic, McGovern chooses to do it through the morality tale of a young couple and the impact that drug use and addiction have on their lives. Whilst the difficulties of individualising a widespread social issue are clear and discussed further in Chapter 3, McGovern attempts to counter these through a parallel strand to the drama that involves high-ranking police officers, politicians and the media whose various approaches to the ‘problem’ form a background to the disintegrating lives of the young couple. The quasi

in Jimmy McGovern