William Hogarth painting

In this class, we will read a number of works, mostly but not all literary, that will open for us a picture of the criminal and legal landscape of eighteenth-century England. There was plenty of law but only weak legal enforcement and it was, in some ways, a golden age for criminals. We will examine the legal system and how it affected the lives of those who were desperately poor all the way up to the aristocracy; in particular, we will examine how class affected the legal experience of the English population. Who suffered, who benefited, who was protected, who escaped scrutiny, and why.

Reading List: Novels by Defoe, Godwin, Austen; True crime accounts, including the Canning Case (multiple sources), the Life of Savage (S. Johnson); works by prison and criminal justice reform advocates (Beccaria, Benthem).

Taught by Dr. John Stevenson.

Repeatable: Repeatable for up to 6.00 total credit hours. Allows multiple enrollment in term. 
Requisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Juniors or Seniors).
Additional Information: Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Arts Humanities
Departmental Category: British Literature after 1660