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Everyman or a monster? The rapist in early modern England, c.1600–1750

Walker, Garthine ORCID: 2013. Everyman or a monster? The rapist in early modern England, c.1600–1750. History Workshop Journal 76 (1) , pp. 5-31. 10.1093/hwj/dbs051

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The focus of this article is on responses to men who raped in early modern England and Wales. Most historical writing on sexual violence and rape in the period has focused on the women and children who were subjected to such abuse rather than upon the perpetrators. The rapist, when he appears, is presented at some times as everyman and at others a monster. The article explores what may be at stake in such a dichotomous view and its unresolved tensions not only for historians but also for early modern people. Using primary sources including pre-trial depositions, printed sessions papers, and newspaper reports of rape and rape, the article explores some of the ways in which early modern people responded to the figure of the rapist, viewing rape either as an ordinary expression of male desire or an extraordinary exhibition of brutish force in ways that seem at once familiar and alien to modern commentators

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1363-3554
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 05:59

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