Women and Violent Crime in Enlightenment Scotland by Anne-Marie Kilday

Anne-Marie Kilday’s Women and Violent Crime in Enlightenment Scotland has just been published by The Boydell Press, and offers important new insights into the relationship between crime and gender in Scotland during the Enlightenment period.

Against the backdrop of significant legislative changes that fundamentally altered the face of Scots law, Anne-Marie examines contemporary attitudes towards serious offences against the person committed by women.

She draws particularly on rich and varied court records to explore female criminality and judicial responses to it in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Through a series of case studies of homicide, infanticide, assault, popular disturbances and robbery, she argues that Scottish women were more predisposed to violence than their counterparts south of the border and considers how this relates to the contemporary drive to ‘civilise’ popular behaviour and to promote a more ordered society. This book thus challenges conventional feminist interpretations that see women principally as the victims of male-controlled economies, institutions and power-structures, and calls for a major re-evaluation of the scope and significance of female criminality in this era. For more information see The Boydell Press

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