The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West (Paperback)
  • The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West (Paperback)
zoom

The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West (Paperback)

(author)
£31.50
Paperback 328 Pages / Published: 30/08/2015
  • We can order this

Usually despatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A. P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreputable character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. In this rousing history, Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West.

Haber's book examines the era's most controversial issues, including suffrage, the gendered courts, women's physiology, and free love. This notorious story enriches our understanding of Victorian society, opening the door to a discussion about the ways in which reputation, especially female reputation, is shaped.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469626468
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 525 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This study demonstrates the power of a professional historian to absorb primary sources and then relay events in a way that carries us back to the very city in which the tragedy, such as it was, occurred.--The Historian


[Haber's book] offers a significant example of the way that an era's understanding of mental illness and gender have deep consequences, in this case, life rather than death.--Bulletin of the History of Medicine


Very enlightening on issues of mental health, as they were understood in the nineteenth century. . . . Legal and social historians, students of women's history, and many others will find this book well worth reading. And one that is hard to put down.--Pacific Historical Review


[An] ably told narrative. . . [and a] skillful presentation of [Laura Fair's] trials.--Bulletin of the History of Medicine


A history that compels the reader to anticipate the denouement as eagerly as if reading a gripping fictional courtroom drama.--Origins


Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian U.S. West.--Law & Social Inquiry


Succeeds in providing a mesmerizing story of Laura Fair's life and trials, examining their many competing narratives and how they were reinvented over time.--Law and History Review


Haber skillfully untangles the many stories that were told by and about Fair, reweaving those threads into a compelling narrative of her life and the murder trials that enthralled the nation.--Western Historical Quartely


Mesmerizing. . . . Haber's captivating social history opens a window into Victorian America's thinking about issues related to gender, women's reputations, law, and religion.--Publishers Weekly


In this well-written narrative, Carole Haber goes beyond the trial transcripts and tabloid newspaper coverage of the infamous late-nineteenth-century Laura Fair murder trials to explain the significance of reinvention and reputation for those migrating to the American West.--American Historical Review

You may also be interested in...

The Anatomy of Violence
Added to basket
The Invention of Murder
Added to basket
The Jigsaw Man
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Underworld London
Added to basket
The Elements of Murder
Added to basket
The Psychopath Whisperer
Added to basket
Forensics
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
The Shankill Butchers
Added to basket
The Cocaine Diaries
Added to basket
The Executioner's Song
Added to basket
Criminology For Dummies
Added to basket
Girl A
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
DarkMarket
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Papillon
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.