Afterlives
in Modern women on trial
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This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in this book. The book looks not just at the female protagonists of a series of trials, but also how they were looked at, 'explained' and categorised by the press and other commentators at the time. Press reports of all the trials paid close attention to the women's appearance, and in relation to the four more significant cases (Maud Allan, Edith Thompson, Marguerite Fahmy and Christabel Russell). Many papers filled their columns with these four women's numerous photographs. All the trials were represented by the press as morality tales. Reports of the Maud Allan trial warned that dangerously mixing sexual perversion, decadence and modernity inevitably spelt treachery. The trials were also sites for the contestation of Britishness/ Englishness. The presence or absence of photographs was one importance difference between the newspapers in their reports of the trials.

Modern women on trial

Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper

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