Crime, Gender and Social Order in Early Modern England

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Garthine Walker reveals that women were not treated leniently by the courts and that beliefs about gender and order impacted on real legal outcomes in early modern England. She demonstrates that the household role had as much to do with the nature of criminality as the individual in this period. Challenging hitherto accepted views regarding gender stereotyping, this book illuminates the complexities of everyday English life in the early modern period.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Walker has produced an impressive and important piece of scholarship that will be required reading for historians of disorder, crime, and the courts in early modern English."
- The Historian

"In her excellent Crime, Gender and Social Order in Early Modern England, Garthine Walker argues that historians have been so little surprised by men's predominance in criminal matters that we have been lulled into accepting a whole set of unwarranted assumptions about men, women, gender roles, crime, and early-modern society in general. This ambitious book challenges these assumptions, and, as does all the best history, offers fresh and compelling answers to questions we thought we had already answered or had not thought to ask. [A] stimulating book [with] characteristic rigour and clarity...Garthine Walker's methods and conclusions, delivered in clear and engaging prose, offer much to admire, discuss, contest, and build on. This is a book that deserves to be widely read."
- Canadian Journal of History, Gordon DesBrisay, University of Saskatchewan

"This is the most subtle and sophisticated analysis of the relationship between gender, crime, and justice in early modern England yet published."
- H-Albion

"By bringing the tools of gender studies, discourse analysis, and social history to bear on her subject, Walker has ultimately produced a work of great richness, illuminating early modern Enlish society in all its raucous, disorderly, contentious, opinionated, and colorful ways."
- Mary Beth Emmerichs, University of Wisconsin, Sheboygan

"...this book is an excellent overview of the social and judicial history of localities in early modern England... Walker's book is a strong addition to the historiography of women's history, legal history, and social history within the early modern world."
- Sixteenth Century Journal, Kristen Post Walton, Salisbury University

"This is a rich, layered book, packed with insights and compelling illustration, and securely founded on the authority of the expert." - Journal of Modern History, Malcolm Gaskill, Churchill College, Cambridge University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Garthine Walker is Lecturer in History, School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Men's non-lethal violence; 3. Voices of feminine violence; 4. Homicide, gender and justice; 5. Theft and related offences; 6. Authority, agency and law; 7. Conclusion.

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