Acknowledged as one of the best introductions to the history of crime in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,Crime and Society in England 1750-1900 examines thedevelopments in policing, the courts, and the penal system as England became increasingly industrialised and urbanised. The book challenges the old but still influential idea that crime can be attributed to the behaviour of a criminal class and that changes in the criminal justice system were principally the work of far-sighted, humanitarian reformers.
In this fourth edition of his now classic account, Professor Emsley draws on new research that has shifted the focus from class to gender, from property crime to violent crime and towards media constructions of offenders, while still maintaining a balance with influential early work in the area.
Wide-ranging and accessible, the new edition examines:
the value of criminal statistics
the effect that contemporary ideas about class and gender had on perceptions of criminality
changes in the patterns of crime
developments in policing and the spread of summary punishment
the increasing formality of the courts
the growth of the prison as the principal form of punishment and debates about the decline in corporal and capital punishments
Thoroughly updated throughout, the fourth edition also includes, for the first time, illuminating contemporary illustrations.
Clive Emsley is Emeritus Professor of History at the Open University. His books include Hard Men: Violence in England since 1750 (2005); Crime Police and Penal Policy: European Experiences 1750-1940 (2007); The Great British Bobby (2009); and Crime and Society in Twentieth Century England (forthcoming).