Added: September 5, 2015 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Author: Samantha Pegg

Title: Sweet Fanny Adams and Sarah's Law

Subtitle: The Creation of Rhetorical Shorthand in the Print Press

Journal: Law, Crime and History

Volume: 3

Issue: 1

Year: March 2013

Pages: 76-96

ISSN: 2045-9238 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | English History | Representations: Press; Society: Moral Panic; Types: Child Sexual Abuse


Link: SOLON (Free Access)


Author: Samantha Pegg, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent UniversityResearchGate

Abstract: »This article considers two cases of female child murder, modern and historical, where the victims have become household names. The framing of these cases in the print press is explored in order to address how similar cases resulted in the divergent use of victims’ names and how the names of both victims became emblematic. It is suggested that addressing ideological backdrops, specifically conceptualisations of childhood and how these can be linked to more disparate concerns, is vital in explaining this etymological divergence. More generally, it is suggested that how an episode has been received is reliant upon how these ideological constructs have been exploited by the print press.« (Source: Law, Crime and History)


  Abstract (p. 76)
  Introduction (p. 76)
  1 Labelling and the Ideological Underpinnings of Murder (p. 77)
  2 The Murder of Fanny Adams (p. 79)
  3 Responses to Baker and the Creation of 'sweet Fanny Adams' (p. 83)
  4 The Murder of Sarah Payne (p. 85)
  5 Child Victims, Moral Panics and Ideological Underpinnings (p. 89)
  6 Contextualising Victorian Victims and Offenders (p. 93)
  Conclusion (p. 96)

Wikipedia: Child sexual abuse, Murder of Sarah Payne