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Prosecuting women: a comparative perspective on crime and gender before the dutch criminal courts, c.1600-1810

In the early modern period women played a prominent role in crime. At times they even made up half of all defendants. Female criminality was a typically urban phenomenon. Why do we find so many women before the Dutch criminal courts?

Ariadne Schmidt
01 September 2020

In Prosecuting Women Ariadne Schmidt analyses the relation between female crime and the urban context by comparing prosecution patterns in various Dutch cities. Prosecuting Womenlooks beyond the bare figures, examines the personal circumstances of criminal women and shows how women's illegal activities were linked to the socio-economic context of the locality and varied over time. The local interplay between crime and the responses of the authorities gave every city a specific dynamic in its pattern of prosecuted crime.

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