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|Title:||Sexuality, Press, and Power:"Crim. Con." in the English Regency|
|Abstract:||This article explores the political implications of adultery in the English Regency by investigating the radical appropriation of "crim. con." ("criminal conversation") literature. Section One looks at the Queen Caroline Affair, in which the private conduct of the royal couple was subject to public scrutiny and the king's sexual pursuit impinged on his qualification as a monarch. Section Two outlines the literary conventions and legal precedents of crim. con. trials and illuminates the uneasy juxtaposition of erotic titillation and prescriptive moralization in crim. con. anthology. Section Three examines William Benbow's "Rambler's Magazine" in comparison with earlier crim. con. literature to shed light on the rhetorical force of seemingly bland and formulaic legal proceedings in unpacking contemporary assumptions about gender and social hierarchy. While the Queen Caroline Affair and crim. con. literature draw attention to the increasingly domesticated ideal of sexuality, these narratives of extramarital affairs also testify to the prevalent cases of adultery across different social strata. With their strategic appropriation of crim. con. literature, Benbow and his fellow radicals expose high-society hypocrisy and call for parliamentary reform to match all-encompassing articulation of sexuality with political participation.|
|Appears in Collections:||Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics|
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