At the heart of these cases, 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. These trials of popular status are especially significant because they reflect the attitudes of the broad audience, indicate which forms of knowledge are easily manipulated, and allow us to analyze how the verdict is argued outside the courtroom in the public and press. With gripping retellings and incisive analysis of these scandalous criminal and civil cases, this book will appeal to historians, rhetoricians, feminist researchers, and anyone who enjoys courtroom drama.
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