Elizabeth De Wolfe, Ph.D., professor of history and co-founder of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, recently published an article on true crime inspired sensational fiction in Nursing Clio, an open access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog project that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine.
According to De Wolfe, true crime-based accounts in mid-nineteenth-century sensational fiction, published in inexpensive, lurid pamphlet-novellas with bright yellow covers, exposed the dangers of the big, bad city for country girls turned cash-earning urban workers.
True-crime inspired sensational fiction featuring working women continued beyond the 1860s, when the workforce of New England textile mills shifted from native-born white New Englanders to immigrant laborers.
DeWolfe has taught and served the UNE community for 23 years. Her research interests are in 19th century American women’s history. She has several notable works including The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories.