Criminal Women (Hardcover)

Famous London Cases

By John J. Eddleston

Wharncliffe Books, 9781845631116, 170pp.

Publication Date: June 2, 2010

List Price: 32.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Women have sometimes been seen as less criminally inclined than men. But, as John Eddleston shows in this revealing anthology of female crimes in London, this image is hard to mesh with reality, for the city's history is crowded with cases of women who broke the law. In vivid detail he reconstructs a series of dramatic, often harrowing cases in which women were involved and puts their acts in the context of their times. Taking episodes from the eighteenth century to near the present day, he looks at criminal women of all types, from all walks of life. The work of the London police, the courts and the prisons is an essential element in his study, and each chapter reveals much about how attitudes to crime and punishment have changed over the centuries. Fascinating portraits of these criminal women as individuals emerge from their stories - their cases come to life - as does the London in which they lived. They include Catherine Hayes who was burnt alive for murdering her husband, three women hanged on the same day for highway robbery, two women executed for rioting, Anne Hurle and Charlotte Newman who were both hanged for forgery, Florence Bravo who was sensationally acquitted of murder and, perhaps most famous of all, Ruth Ellis whose execution in 1955 provoked an outcry against capital punishment.