Added: November 9, 2013 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Author: Shani D'Cruze

Title: Crimes of Outrage

Subtitle: Sex, violence and Victorian working women

Place: DeKalb, IL

Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press

Year: 1998

Pages: 271pp.

ISBN-10: 0875802427 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-10: 0875805787 (paper) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century | European History: English History


Link: -



  1. She levelled them all three
  2. An "industnous woman" and a "ruined" child
  3. As agreeable as neighbours ought to be
  4. A sad case of domestic infelicity
  5. She did not ask for a character
  6. Clipping in the clubroom
  7. Previous to my being ravished
  8. A sensation in court


»Based on extensive original research, Crimes of Outrage explores the uses of violence as a strategy in working people's sexual politics. Shani D'Cruze examines the nineteenth-century courtroom as a theatrical arena where the body became a functional site of power and narratives of violence competed to shape constructions of women's social and sexual identities.
Neighborhood, along with work and home, provided the spatial and social context for much recorded violence, both physical and sexual. The author places such violence within the context of courtship rituals and daily life, investigating attacks by men against women and women against each other. The legal system filtered, defined, and classified physical and sexual violence, masking some and highlighting other kinds of aggression. D'Cruze points out that women's interests in speaking out against violent crimes sometimes coincided with the court's agenda to discipline the unruly behavior of working men. However, although women used local courts to vindicate their reputations before their neighbors in the public gallery, in doing so they often compromised their respectability in the eyes of the public.
Written in a lively and accessible style, this fascinating and challenging study marks an important addition to the literature in the field. It will be welcomed by students of women's history and sociology as well as those with an interest in feminism.« (Source: Northern Illinois University Press)

Editions: D'Cruze, Shani. Crimes of Outrage: Sex, violence and Victorian working women. London 1998. – Bibliographic Entry: Info


Levine, Philippa. Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 31(4) (Winter, 1999): 684-686. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Mitchell, Pablo. Left History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Historical Inquiry and Debate 7(1) (Spring 2000). – Full Text: York Digital Journals (Free Access)

Mitchell, Sally. »Traces of Life.« English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 43(2) (2000): 215-218. – Full Text: Project MUSE (Restricted Access)

Peterson del Mar, David. Law and History Review 19(3) (Autumn 2001): 677-678. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Savage, Gail. Victorian Studies: A Quarterly of the Humanities, Arts, and Sciences 43(3) (Spring 2001): 511-513. – Full Text: Project MUSE (Restricted Access)

Smith, H.I. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 36(8) (April 1999): 1522. – Full Text: Choice Reviews Online (Restricted Access)

Thom, Deborah. The American Historical Review 105(1) (February 2000): 284. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of England / Victorian era