Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

Many people and institutions have helped me on the path toward completion of this book. I am especially indebted to my former supervisor, the late Sally Ledger, whose intellectual curiosity, positive attitude, and sense of humor continue to inspire my research and work with my own students...

Note on Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction. Approaching Female Prisoners’ Voices

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pp. 1-19

This is a book about women’s voices in the penal sphere and the difficulty of uncovering them. In 1985, criminologist Pat Carlen published Criminal Women: Autobiographical Accounts, a collection of female offender life narratives. Designed to give female (ex-)prisoners a sense of agency and the...

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1. “Shame, You Are Not Going to Hang Me!”: Women’s Voices in Nineteenth-Century Street Literature

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pp. 20-40

Street literature, including execution broadsides, provided one of the main textual spaces for representing the voices of female convicts up until the last third of the nineteenth century. Regardless of the truthfulness of these texts, the ways in which many of them claim a platform for female convicts...

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2. The Lives of Which “There Are No Records Kept”: Convicts and Matrons in the Prison Narratives of Frederick William Robinson (“A Prison Matron”)

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pp. 41-69

Written during a period when the broadside trade was already in decline, the commercially successful prison tales by the little-known Victorian popular-fiction writer Frederick William Robinson served as one of the channels in which popular interrogations into women’s crimes and punishment...

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3. The Limits of Female Reformation: Hidden Stories in George Eliot’s Adam Bede and Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone

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pp. 70-90

Although the most visible and sustained representations of female convicts and their perspectives in early to mid-nineteenth-century Britain can arguably be found in popular, noncanonical forms of writing, such as the staging of female offenders’ voices in execution broadsides or Frederick William...

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4. “A Clamorous Multitude and a Silent Prisoner”: Women’s Rights, Spiritualism, and Public Speech in Susan Willis Fletcher’s Twelve Months in an English Prison

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pp. 91-120

While mid- Victorian novelists such as George Eliot and Wilkie Collins used embedded narratives of female offenders to explore these women’s subjectivities and the social conditions surrounding their crimes and punishment, middle- class women who had come into conflict with the law...

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5. Adultery, Gender, and the Nation: The Florence Maybrick Case and Mrs. Maybrick's Own Story

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pp. 121-148

Debates around the highly publicized murder case of Florence Maybrick in 1889, only a few years after fellow American Susan Willis Fletcher’s trial, extended some of the concerns about unfair treatment raised by spiritualist Fletcher’s supporters into a more explicit critique against a sexual double...

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6. Gender and Citizenship in Edwardian Writings from Prison: Katie Gliddon and the Suffragettes at Holloway

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pp. 149-183

Debates around the treatment of women, as well as gender and class inequities in the legal and penal systems, reached a new level in the context of the women’s suffrage campaign in Edwardian Britain, especially during the militant struggle for the vote, which saw many activists incarcerated for...

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7. Postscript: Rewriting Women’s Prison History in Historical Fiction: Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and Sarah Waters’s Affinity

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pp. 184-194

The contemporary novelists Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters have taken up the call to move beyond readily available forms of representing women offenders and their imprisonment. Attentive to the difficulties of recovering historical voices of the socially marginalized, these writers use the...

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Coda

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pp. 195-198

Contemporary novelists Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters, in their creative writing and research methods, implicitly take up feminist criminologists’ call for self-reflexivity in approaches to women’s imprisonment.¹ As this book has illustrated, such awareness can already be found in nineteenth- and...

Notes

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pp. 199-234

Works Cited

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pp. 235-278

Index

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pp. 279-290