Women, Crime, and Custody in Victorian England

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Clarendon Press, 1991 - History - 364 pages
This book explores how the Victorians perceived and explained female crime, and how they responded to it--both in penal theory and prison practice. Victorian England women made up a far larger proportion of those known to be involved in crime than they do today: the nature of female criminality attracted considerable attention and preoccupied those trying to provide for women within the penal system. Zedner's rigorously researched study examines the extent to which gender-based ideologies influenced attitudes to female criminality. She charts the shift from the moral analyses dominant in the mid-nineteenth century to the interpretation of criminality as biological or psychological disorder prevalent later. Using a wide variety of sources--including prison regulations, diaries, letters, punishment books, grievances and appeals--Zedner explores both penological theory and the realities of prison life.

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Normal and Deviant Women
Explaining Female Crime
Women and Penal Theory 33333

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About the author (1991)

Lucia Zedner is Fellow and Tutor in Law at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

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