Date of Award
The Newgate Calendar, one of the earliest true crime documents, has rarely been studied. This paper aims to demonstrate that these texts illuminate various aspects of the culture that both produced and consumed the narratives the Calendar contains. In particular, I have focused on two different categories of crimes against the body. The Calendar's early volumes, which were published while state-sponsored punishment was still a public spectacle, offer several accounts that deal with the confinement and torture of living victims. Later volumes do not include torture narratives. Instead, anxiety over the treatment of dead bodies caused an increased interest in stories detailing postmortem abuses like dismemberment. Through the application of critical lenses like feminist, queer, sociological, and popular cultural approaches to various criminal biographies offered in the Calendar, I have attempted to show the ways in which these texts tracked shifts in the dominant culture.
Rust, Aimee, "Guilty Pleasures: Narrative Craft and Mass Appeal in the Newgate Calendar" (2006). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 399.