In this Book

The Crimes of Womanhood
summary
Cultural views of femininity exerted a powerful influence on the courtroom arguments used to defend or condemn notable women on trial in nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century America. A. Cheree Carlson analyzes the colorful rhetorical strategies employed by lawyers and reporters in the trials of several women of varying historical stature, from the insanity trials of Mary Todd Lincoln and Lizzie Borden's trial for the brutal slaying of her father and stepmother, to lesser-known trials involving insanity, infidelity, murder, abortion, and interracial marriage. Carlson reveals clearly just how narrow was the line that women had to walk, since the same womanly virtues that were expected of them--passivity, frailty, and purity--could be turned against them at any time. With gripping retellings and incisive analysis, this book will appeal to historians, rhetoricians, feminist researchers, and anyone who enjoys courtroom drama.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright Page
  2. p. iv
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction: Womanhood on Trial
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 1. Narrative Intersections in Popular Trials
  2. pp. 15-20
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  1. 2. Framing Madness in the Sanity Trial of Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard
  2. pp. 21-38
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  1. 3. The Mad Doctors Meet McNaughton: The Battle for Narrative Supremacy in the Trial of Mary Harris
  2. pp. 39-68
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  1. 4. "True Womanhood" and Perfect Madness: The Sanity Trial of Mary Todd Lincoln
  2. pp. 69-84
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  1. 5. Womanhood as Asset and Liability: Lizzie Andrew Borden
  2. pp. 85-110
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  1. 6. Bodies at the Crossroads: The Rise and Fall of Madame Restell
  2. pp. 111-135
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  1. 7. "You Know It When You See It": The Rhetorical Embodiment of Race and Gender in Rhinelander v. Rhinelander
  2. pp. 136-155
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  1. Conclusion: Womanhood as Narrative
  2. pp. 157-166
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 167-172
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  1. References
  2. pp. 173-183
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 185-189
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