Scotch Verdict: The Real-Life Story that Inspired "The Children's Hour"

Kobo ebook | January 8, 2013

byLillian Faderman

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In 1810, a Scottish student named Jane Cumming accused her school mistresses, Jane Pirie and Marianne Woods, of having an affair in the presence of their students. Dame Cumming Gordon, the wealthy and powerful grandmother of the accusing student, advises her friends to remove their daughters from the Drumsheugh boarding school. Within days, the institution is deserted and two women are deprived of their livelihoods.

Award-winning author Lillian Faderman recreates the events surrounding this notorious case, which became the basis for Lillian Hellman’s famous play, The Children’s Hour. Reconstructing the libel suit filed by Pirie and Woods, which resulted in a scotch verdict, or a verdict of inconclusive/not proven, Faderman builds a compelling narrative from court transcripts, judge’s notes, witnesses’ contradictory testimony, and the prejudices of the men presiding over the case. Her fascinating portrait documents the social, economic, and sexual pressures that shaped the lives of nineteenth-century women and the issues of class and gender that contributed to their marginalization.

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In 1810, a Scottish student named Jane Cumming accused her school mistresses, Jane Pirie and Marianne Woods, of having an affair in the presence of their students. Dame Cumming Gordon, the wealthy and powerful grandmother of the accusing student, advises her friends to remove their daughters from the Drumsheugh boarding school. Within ...

Lillian Faderman is professor emerita of English at California State University, Fresno. Her award-winning titles are Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America; Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present; Naked in the Promise...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 8, 2013Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231533241

ISBN - 13:9780231533249

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Foreword to the 2013 Edition
Nota Bene
Acknowledgments
Part I. The Accusation
Part II. The Trial
Part III. The Review and Appeal
Part IV. The Settlement

Editorial Reviews

An absorbing transcript detailing the evolution of our understanding of the sexual relationships between women using the Scotch trial as the lynchpin. The story is mesmerizing while the writing is riveting.