Dr Garthine Walker
Rape in England and Wales c.1500-c.1800: funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship
The aim of this project is to investigate the complex changes in the treatment of rape in the period 1500-1800. By examining a rich array of primary sources and situating rape in its broader cultural and individual contexts, I shall show that rape does have a history, but not one that we necessarily expect. How did the 'everyman-rapist' of the sixteenth century become the 'aberrant monster' of the late eighteenth? Why did seventeenth-century people seem to believe that guilty men were acquitted and their victims genuine? When and why did these perceptions change? What role did misogyny, religion, politics, and news play in changing attitudes? And what were the practical implications for women and children seeking justice?
A new history of crime in early modern England and Wales