Victorian Crime, Madness and Sensation : Interdisciplinary Essays
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
School of Humanities
English Literature and Creative Writing
Beginning with Victoria's enthronement and an exploration of sensationalist accounts of attacks on the Queen, and ending with the notorious case of a fin-de-siècle killer, Victorian Crime, Madness and Sensation discusses nineteenth-century attitudes toward crime and 'deviance'. The essays, which draw on both canonical and liminal texts, examine the Victorian fascination with criminal psychology and pathology, engaging with real life cases alongside fictional accounts by writers as diverse as Ainsworth, Stevenson, and Stoker. Among the topics are shifting definitions of criminality and the ways in which discourses surrounding crime changed during the nineteenth century, the literal and social criminalization of particular sex acts, and the gendering of degeneration and insanity.