From Moll Flanders to tess of the d'urbervilles: Women, autonomy and criminal responsibility in eighteenth and nineteenth century England
In the early 18th Century, Daniel Defoe found it natural to write a novel whose heroine was a sexually adventurous, socially marginal property offender. Only half a century later, this would have been next to unthinkable. In this paper, the disappearance of Moll Flanders, and her supercession in the annals of literary female offenders by heroines like Tess of the d'Urbervilles, serves as a metaphor for fundamental changes in ideas of selfhood, gender and social order in 18th and 19th Century England. Drawing on law, literature, philosophy and social history, I argue that these broad changes underpinned a radical shift in mechanisms of responsibility-attribution, with decisive implications for the criminalisation of women. I focus in particular on the question of how the treatment and understanding of female criminality was changing during the era which saw the construction of the main building blocks of the modern criminal process, and of how these understandings related in turn to broader ideas about gender, social order and individual agency.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Practical Objectivity: The Excise, State, and Production in Eighteenth Century England.William J. Ashworth - 2004 - Social Epistemology 18 (2 & 3):181 – 197.
Experiencing Tess of the D'Urbervilles.C. S. Schreiner - 2005 - Newsletter of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy 33 (101):27-29.
The Mysterious Science of the Law: An Essay on Blackstone's Commentaries Showing How Blackstone, Employing Eighteenth Century Ideas of Science, Religion, History, Aesthetics, and Philosophy, Made of the Law at Once a Conservative and a Mysterious Science.Daniel J. Boorstin - 1941 - University of Chicago Press.
“A Hideous Torture on Himself”: Madness and Self-Mutilation in Victorian Literature. [REVIEW]Sarah Chaney - 2011 - Journal of Medical Humanities 32 (4):279-289.
"Reason's Feminist Disciples" : Cartesianism and Seventeenth-Century English Women.Astrid Wilkens - unknown
Space, Time and Function: Intersecting Principles of Responsibility Across the Terrain of Criminal Justice. [REVIEW]Nicola Lacey - 2007 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 1 (3):233-250.
Psychologising Jekyll, Demonising Hyde: The Strange Case of Criminal Responsibility. [REVIEW]Nicola Lacey - 2010 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (2):109-133.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #309,002 of 2,153,823 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #398,274 of 2,153,823 )
How can I increase my downloads?