The trials of Laura Fair : sex, murder, and insanity in the Victorian West (Book, 2013) [WorldCat.org]
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The trials of Laura Fair : sex, murder, and insanity in the Victorian West
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The trials of Laura Fair : sex, murder, and insanity in the Victorian West

Author: Carole Haber
Publisher: Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2013]
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A.P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Trials, litigation, etc
Named Person: Laura D Fair; Alexander Parker Crittenden; Alexander Parker Crittenden; Laura D Fair
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Carole Haber
ISBN: 9781469607580 1469607581 9781469626468 1469626462
OCLC Number: 827724317
Description: xii, 310 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction : Laura D. Fair and the unwritten law --
The she-devil known as Mrs. Laura D. Fair --
The case for the prosecution --
The defense responds --
The Appeal --
The Second Trial --
The Fair Lunatic --
Epilogue: The Many Faces of Laura D. Fair.
Responsibility: Carole Haber.

Abstract:

On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A.P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreputable character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. In this rousing history, Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West. Haber's book examines the era's most controversial issues, including suffrage, the gendered courts, women's physiology, and free love. This notorious story enriches our understanding of Victorian society, opening the door to a discussion about the ways in which reputation, especially female reputation, is shaped.

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