This book applies three overlapping bodies of work to generate fresh approaches to the study of criminal justice in England and Ireland between 1660 and 1850. First, crime and justice are interpreted as elements of the "public sphere" of opinion about government. Second, "performativity" and speech act theory are considered in the context of the Anglo-Irish criminal trial, which was transformed over the course of this period from an unmediated exchange between victim and accused to a fully lawyerized performance. Thirdly, the authors apply recent scholarship on the history of emotions, particularly relating to the constitution of "emotional communities" and changes in "emotional regimes".
1. Historicizing Emotions: Performance, Sensibility, and the Rule of Law Part I: Feminine Performances and the Criminal Trial: Women’s Emotional Work in the Public Sphere 2. "It Will Be Expected by You All, To Hear Something from Me": Emotion, Performance, and Child Murder in Britain in the Eighteenth Century 3. The Prosecutorial Passions: An Emotional History of Petty Treason and Parricide in England, 1674-1790 4. Shame and Malice in the Eighteenth-Century Criminal Court and Community Part II: Emotional Communities and Sensibilities: Truth, Theatre and Blasphemy in Court 5. Sympathetic Speech: Telling Truths in the Nineteenth-Century Irish Court 6. Swearing and Feeling: The Secularization of Truth-Seeking in the Victorian English Court 7. Irish Sensibilities and the English Bar: The Advocacy of Charles Phillips Part III: Emotional Regimes and the Legal Process: Stories of Terror, Sensibility and Patriotism in the Representation of Criminal Trials 8. Theatre of Blood: On the Criminal Trial as Tale of Terror 9. Doctor Dodd and the Law in the Age of the Sentimental Revolution 10. Thomas Erskine and the Performance of Moral Sentiments: The Emotional Reportage of Trials for "Criminal Conversation" and Treason in the 1790s