Abstract/Details

By a gentle force compell'd: An analysis of rape in eighteenth-century English fact and fiction


2006 2006

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Rape shows up with remarkable frequency in English novels written in the eighteenth century. It also shows up with depressing regularity in the court records of the times. This thesis examines rape both as it occurred in fact (by examining legal records) and in fiction (by examining a wide variety of novels). The thesis begins with a brief look at the history of rape laws in England, then undertakes an extensive review of rape cases from the Old Bailey Sessions Papers and from the Select Trials. Fictional representations of rape in novels are then considered, with special attention paid to the reasons (fictional) men commit rape and the reasons (fictional) women were often seen as complicit in their own rapes. A chapter is devoted to Clarissa, as this novel's complex representation of rape raises a number of important issues about the connections between rape in reality and rape in fiction. A concluding chapter attempts to draw some conclusions about the differences between rape as it happened in eighteenth-century England and as it is used by novelists from Behn to Richardson.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Law;
British and Irish literature
Classification
0398: Law
0593: British and Irish literature
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Clarissa; Eighteenth century; English; Fiction; Rape; Richardson, Samuel; Samuel Richardson
Title
By a gentle force compell'd: An analysis of rape in eighteenth-century English fact and fiction
Author
Constantine, Stephen M.
Number of pages
246
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 67/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542982132
Advisor
Keefe, Robert
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3242099
ProQuest document ID
305306052
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305306052
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.