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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

1 - Introduction

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Summary

This introduction deals with the historiography on women’s participation in crime in various regions in Europe in the early modern and modern period. It introduces the chapters in this volume and places them in the framework of three topics around which the debates about crime and gender have centered over the past decades: violence, prosecution and punishment, and representation. It furthermore pays specific attention to the importance of socio-economic and cultural contexts, arguing that contextualisation of women’s crime is an essential instrument for explaining why women committed crime, why their registered criminal patterns changed and how their crimes were represented by contemporaries