February 10, 2016

Ward on Trollope, Sensationalism, and English Law in "The Eustace Diamonds"

Ian Ward, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Faculty of Law, has published The Trials of Lizzie Eustace: Trollope, Sensationalism, and the Condition of English Law at 43 Journal of Law and Society 66 (2016). Here is the abstract.
The Eustace Diamonds was published in 1872. It was the third of Anthony Trollope's famed Palliser series. It represented, however, something of a diversion, telling the story of the ‘cunning’ Lizzie Eustace who declines to return a priceless diamond necklace to the estate of her recently deceased husband. Critics have supposed that The Eustace Diamonds can be read as a contribution to the contemporary genre of ‘sensation’ novels. Sensation novels were full of sex, crime, and scheming young women like Lizzie Eustace. The law should of course have brought to Lizzie to justice. But it does not; indeed it barely tries. For the law in The Eustace Diamonds, as in so many ‘sensation’ novels, is conspicuous only in a failure that is as metaphorical in purpose as it is prosaic.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

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