© 2020

Crime, Broadsides and Social Change, 1800-1850


About this book


This book explores the form, function and meaning of crime and execution broadsides printed in nineteenth-century Britain. By presenting a detailed discourse analysis of 650 broadsides printed across Britain between the years 1800-1850, this book provides a unique and alternative interpretation as to their narratives of crime. This criminological interpretation is based upon the social theories of Emile Durkheim, who recognised the higher utility of crime and punishment as being one of social integration and the preservation of moral boundaries. The central aim of this book is to show that broadsides relating to crime and punishment served as a form of moral communication for the masses and that they are examples of how the working class once attempted to bolster a sense of stability and community, during the transitional years of the early nineteenth century, by effectively representing both a consolidation and celebration of their core values and beliefs. 


Crime and media social control class control children development social change social science execution crime and punishment Durkheim law history state propoganda

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

About the authors

Kate Bates is Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She has extensive experience of criminal justice, having served as both a police officer and a civilian caseworker investigating police complaints, and has also served as a panel member for Children’s Hearings Scotland.

Bibliographic information


“This book is well worth reading and deserves a place on the small but growing shelf of studies of nineteenth-century street literature.” (Steve Roud, Folk Music Journal, 2021)