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Title: 'At large' : women's lives and offending in Victorian Liverpool and London
Author: Williams, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 2488
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis focuses on serious female offenders living in Liverpool and London during the Victorian period. In contrast to much existing historical research on women and crime, the interest here is not solely on the offences women committed, nor their offending patterns; but instead on their lives, experiences, and identities. One of the key objectives of this research is to add new information on women and offending to a historiography which continues to be dominated by the male offender and the male experience or crime. Similarly, this research moves away from histories of female offenders as shoplifters, prostitutes, and child-killers, and considers the wider involvement of women in crimes of theft and violence in Victorian cities. The findings demonstrate that female offences were diverse, and patterns of offending were heavily influenced by local, environmental, and personal factors. Analysis of women’s experiences shows that limited opportunities for employment, difficult living conditions, and poor prospects for social mobility and stability all impacted upon the probability of offending. The research also shows that women who were part of the lowest sections of the working class, members of an ethnic minority, the oldest female child in their families, and unmarried, were most likely to become serious female offenders. Local differences in employment opportunities, housing patterns, and policing practices could impact upon the kind of crimes undertaken by women, the period of the life-cycle in which offending was most likely to begin, the length of offending careers, and the number of convictions women gained. Yet the biggest contribution to serious female offending was made by experiences which transcended both location and environment, namely the issues of poverty, and social and economic exclusion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain