Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Mad, sad, or bad? : newspaper and judicial representations of men who killed children in Victorian England, 1860-1900
Author: Wilson, Cathryn B. A.
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis places men at the centre of an examination of child murder in England between 1860 and 1900. Drawing on over 1400 newspaper articles from The Times and a further 3500 from the provincial press, this study investigates the various representations of men who killed their own, or other people's, children. It examines the varied responses to their crimes by the legal system and argues that such a study can reveal much about the cultural constructions and representations of gender, fatherhood, and crime. After examining the historiography of infanticide and child murder and identifying the main changes in the law affecting the care and treatment of children in the late nineteenth century, this thesis moves on to scrutinise the sources available for this previously neglected area of gender and crime history . In addition, it also addresses some of the issues surrounding the recent, and growing, availability of primary sources via the internet. Chapter Three continues with the main theme of newspapers and provides a detailed analysis of the dissemination of paternal child murder narratives in the second half of the nineteenth century. Chapter Four uses a microhistory to reconstruct and explore a case of paternal child murder and the related issues of male insanity. The subsequent chapter examines the success and failure of insanity as a defence in cases of paternal child murder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available