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Explore Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920

With 2.1 million pages of trial transcripts, police and forensic reports, detective novels, newspaper accounts, true crime literature, and related ephemera, Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920, presents the broadest and deepest collection of materials supporting the study of 19th-century history, law, literature, and criminal justice. This quintessential resource enhances understanding of the intersection of law and society during a pivotal era of social change.

This unique, international collection helps researchers explore the causes and effects of the rise in crime during the Industrial Revolution, the development of metropolitan police departments, and the public’s fascination with increasingly sensational accounts of crime in newspapers and fiction. It covers changing attitudes about punishment and reform that led to such practices as solitary confinement, prison work programs, and penal transportation, as well "scientific" theories such as phrenology, which posited that character could be determined by physiognomy.

Only Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920, helps users explore the links between fact and fiction by integrating legal and historical documents with literature, an emerging crime fiction genre, newspaper reports, and more.

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