- Hardcover: 362 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (August 15, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226506908
- ISBN-13: 978-0226506906
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,757,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Word Crimes: Blasphemy, Culture, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century England 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Blasphemy was a crime in England during the 19th century. In this fascinating study, Marsh (English, Stanford) explores the blasphemy trials that served to change ideas about free speech. The key trial came in 1883 when G.W. Foote, editor of the penny newspaper "Freethinker," was prosecuted three times. Foote, and others detailed in the book, refused to be silenced and eventually secured the right to write and speak freely. The court ruled that blasphemy was not a criminal offense?and simultaneously elevated literature's authority. In addition to the blasphemy trials, Marsh examines how Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, published in 1895, ignited a fury of debate and criticism. This scholarly yet thoroughly engaging study of these important historical moments makes a splendid contribution to free speech literature. Recommended for literary and history collections in public and academic libraries.?Ronald Ray Ratliff, Chapman H.S. Lib., KS
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