The eighteenth-century model of the criminal trial - with its insistence that the defendant and the facts of a case could 'speak for themselves' - was abandoned in 1836, when legislation enabled barristers to address the jury on behalf of prisoners charged with felony. Increasingly, professional acts of interpretation were seen as necessary to achieve a just verdict, thereby silencing the prisoner and affecting the testimony given by eye witnesses at criminal trials. Jan-Melissa Schramm examines the profound impact of the changing nature of evidence in law and theology on literary narrative in the nineteenth century. Already a locus of theological conflict, the idea of testimony became a fiercely contested motif of Victorian debate about the ethics of literary and legal representation. She argues that authors of fiction created a style of literary advocacy which both imitated, and reacted against, the example of their storytelling counterparts at the Bar.
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(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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