For love or money: The economics of illicit sexuality in English eighteenth-century legal sources and prose narratives

Kristen Hoffman Senior, Marquette University

Abstract

This project explores the way legal and prose narrative from England's early eighteenth century demonstrates an increasingly middle class repression of illicit female sexuality. Crimes of rape, seduction, bigamy, adultery, prostitution, and lesbianism are represented as potential threats to early capitalism and the modern conjugal marriage, yet they are also manipulated into actually supporting the family and economic units. Middle class philanthropy ultimately shifts the attitude toward illicit female sexuality from one of demonization to one of redemption and reform. Contemporary sources include trial records, newspaper accounts, and prose fiction by Penelope Aubin, Jane Barker, Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, and Delarivier Manley.

Recommended Citation

Kristen Hoffman Senior, "For love or money: The economics of illicit sexuality in English eighteenth-century legal sources and prose narratives" (January 1, 1998). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI9901738.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9901738

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