WaywardWomen is a new weekly blog I started writing in April 2012. Posts are all derived from my PhD research into the lives of Victorian England’s Female offenders, in which I examine the who, what, and why of crime in two Victorian cities – Liverpool and London. I examine the life narratives of female offenders in Victorian England, roughly between the periods 1830 – 1911, and assert that to fully understand the relationship between women and crime in Victorian England, it is essential to first understand the nature of female offenders themselves. This blog is a fantastic opportunity for me to share my research both with other academics and researchers, and with anyone else interested in the people behind the myths of female offending. Here you can find posts on the personal lives as well as the crimes of a diverse range of Victorian England’s female offenders – baby farmers, murderers, prostitutes, gang members, thieves, fraudsters, and drunks to name but a few – along with occasional musings on the practicalities and interest of carrying out a study such as this.
Lucy Williams: I am a full-time PhD student in the History Department at the University of Liverpool, where I work on my thesis, teach, and drink far too many cups of tea. Although I am primarily interested in female offenders I have wider interests in most things Victorian – particularly gender, crime, or society. You can follow the blog: Waywardwomen and @19thC_Offenders or you can follow me: @Lucy_E_Williams
Hi Lucy. Had a look at your excellent blog. Thought that you might be interested in taking a look at a book I’ve recently had published (October 2011) about a senior detective at Scotland Yard (1864-1878)….called ‘The Chieftain; Victorian true crime through the eyes of a Scotland Yard detective’. I’m not sure if it would yet be in your University library; you can find out more at my website (www.chrispaynebooks.com). There’s a section (pages 126-133) covering offences against children which covers some of the London police investigations into babyfarming and abortion (1869-1873), principally involving women. In addition there’s a curious case (pages 168-170) involving a woman (Ellen Snee) who tried by a convoluted route to commit suicide but failed to get to the end point and was imprisoned for 6 months instead. You may have come across them before but I thought it was worth a mention. Good luck with your PhD!