Criminal Women 1850-1920: Researching the Lives of Britain's Female Offenders

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 319 pages
Author: L. Williams & B. Godfrey
Year: 2018
ISBN: 9781526718617
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Women are among the hardest individuals to trace through the historical record and this is especially true of female offenders who had a vested interest in not wanting to be found. That is why this thought-provoking and accessible handbook by Lucy Williams and Barry Godfrey is of such value. It looks beyond the crimes and the newspaper reports of women criminals in the Victorian era in order to reveal the reality of their personal and penal journeys, and it provides a guide for researchers who are keen to explore this intriguing and neglected subject.

The book is split into three sections. There is an introduction outlining the historical context for the study of female crime and punishment, then a series of real-life case studies which show in a vivid way the complexity of female offenders’ lives and follows them through the penal system. The third section is a detailed guide to archival and online sources that readers can consult in order to explore the life-histories of criminal women.

The result is a rare combination of academic guide and how-to-do-it manual. It introduces readers to the latest research in the field and it gives them all the information they need to carry out their own research.

Part 1. Background
1. Introduction
2. Women and Crime
3. Women and Punishment
4. Women in the Prison System
5. Women and Post-Release Supervision 

Part 2. Case Studies of Criminal Women
6. Amelia Sach
7. Violet Watson
8. Ann Griffith
9. Ann Nicholls
10. Eleanor Boniface alias Ann Knight
11. Mary Ann Gannon
12. Eliza Conner and Mary Leonard
13. Ellen Dwyer and Lottie Child
14. Emily Swann
15. Elizabeth Dillon
16. Eva Bebbington
17. Julia Smith and Frances Murphy
18. Maria Allen and Maria Adams
19. Mary Ann Parr
20. Mary Hardyman
21. Elizabeth Dyer
22. Mary Vickers alias 'Slasher'
23. Sarah Chiswell
24. Sarah Jane Day
25. Sarah Tuff alias Sarah Poole
26. Susannah Wells Watson
27. Amelia Layton
28. Ann Plowman
29. Elizabeth Coppin
30. Ellen Risden
31. Maria Dibsdale
32. Mary Fitzpatrick
33. Arabella Matilda Hopton
34. Sarah Davies
35. Jane Foster

Part 3. How to Research
36. Women's Crimes
37. How to Research: Women and the 'Experience' of Imprisonment
38. How to Research: Women Convicts and Post-Sentence Supervision
39. How to Research: Criminal Women at Home
40. Conclusion

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Criminal Women 1850-1920: Researching the Lives of Britain's Female Offenders

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