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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

series of sensational trials as a way in for such an explo-­ ration, given that the debates within the law court and on the pages of newspapers reveal (some of the) contemporary attitudes towards women and their sexual mores.���������������������������������������������������� The trials are thus taken ������������������������� as a prism through which to identify concerns about modern femininity. Were women thought to have changed/be changing in significant ways? If they were, what threats were perceived to social, economic, moral and domestic order from such a change

in Modern women on trial
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State terrorism, deceptive organisation and proxy
Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet

, hunted down ETA members and Basque exiles in France in order to quicken the resolution of a diplomatic conflict? After years of sensational trials and political scandals that cast doubt on the certainties of the young Spanish democracy 9 while offering the opposition, the press and the magistrates a whole new image, no one can claim that the last word has been said about the GAL. It is true that the latest news emerging from courts on either side of the Pyrénées is less sensational – in fact, it has

in Counter-terror by proxy
Open Access (free)
R. A. Melikan

in Relations of Private Life (1848–51), Sensational Trials: or, Causes Célèbres in High Life (1865). The public interest in trials was also reflected, and probably enhanced, by newspapers, and these provide a valuable resource to scholars less interested in particular ‘celebrated’ trials. In the late eighteenth century newspapers such as The Times provided limited coverage of important trials, but in the nineteenth century this coverage grew, and particularly after the abolition of stamp and paper taxes in the 1850s the number of newspapers exploded. Many, if not

in Domestic and international trials, 1700–2000
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James Crossland

-two-year-old law student named Ferdinand Cohen-Blind, whose 48er father had worked for Heinzen at Der Pionier and was a known advocate of terrorism. The son had taken his father’s views to heart. Like Becker, Cohen-Blind cited Orsini as his inspiration, believing that the death of the tyrannical chancellor would lead to a new age of political freedom in Prussia. A sensational trial would have doubtless followed, with Stieber opining to the court and the press about how Cohen-Blind’s plan evidenced a wider plot against the

in The rise of devils
Negotiating the legal definition of madness
James E. Moran

. 7 88 E.R., Bennett and His Wife and Spencer and His Wife. 8 Ibid ., p. 477. 9 Ibid . 10 Ibid . 11 Ibid ., p. 476. 12 Ibid ., p. 481. 13 Ibid ., pp. 482–3. 14 Earl Ferrers is not to be confused with his more infamous nephew who was the subject of ‘one of the most sensational trials of the eighteenth century.’. See the excellent account in J. Andrews and A. Scull, Undertaker of the Mind

in Madness on trial
Women performers and the law in the ‘long’ Edwardian period
Viv Gardner

‘the drawing up of battle lines in relation to the construction of a new, post-war womanhood, setting the stage for the [sensational] trials’ of socially and sexually transgressive women that were to follow in the 1920s (Bland, 2013: 9). With the partial enfranchisement of women in February 1918, the qualification of women as parliamentary candidates in November 1918 and the swearing-in of the first female jurors in July 1920, the political, social and legal landscape for all British women changed significantly at the end of the war. However, Allan was not just a

in Stage women, 1900–50
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Guy Austin

bourgeois family. As the sensational trial and press coverage of 1934 made clear, the threat to the established order posed by Violette’s crime could not be dismissed as originating in the working or supposedly ‘criminal’ classes. Instead, it ‘came from within the very ranks of the respectable classes and crystallized around the spectre of female sexuality within the family’ (Walker 1995 : 94).This

in Claude Chabrol
Frederika Bain

a sensational trial in 1615 of being an accomplice to the poisoners of Sir Thomas Overbury, Sir Gervase Hewlys wore to his execution a black Suit and Jerkin with hanging sleeves, having on his head a crimson satten Cap, from the top downwards, and round about laced, under that a white

in The Renaissance of emotion
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The social and the sexual in interwar Britain
Matt Houlbrook

least through fraud and forgery. From humble beginnings O’Dare rose to prominence: cultivating friendships with older men, insinuating herself into networks of female sociability and securing credit from upscale shops. Eventually her image appeared on the cover of the patrician Bystander and her Mayfair salon became the talk of the tabloids. Yet mobility was never one-dimensional. Regularly falling foul of the law, the parvenu trickster and vamp were put in their place (and prison) through sensational trials and rhetorics of revelatory exposure. Refashioned as

in British queer history