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The Littlehampton LibelsA Miscarriage of Justice and a Mystery about Words in 1920s England$
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Christopher Hilliard

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198799658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198799658.001.0001

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Easter and After

Easter and After

(p.33) 2 Easter and After
The Littlehampton Libels

Christopher Hilliard

Oxford University Press

Relations between the Gooding household and their neighbours were warm until Easter Sunday 1920, when the Goodings had an argument witnessed by many people on their street. In response, Edith Swan wrote to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children alleging that Rose beat her sister’s baby. The charity’s inspector visited and found the children loved and well cared for. Both the Swans and the Goodings manipulated systems of philanthropic and governmental scrutiny in pursuit of personal agendas. After the inspector’s visit, Edith Swan and local tradesmen started to receive letters and postcards denouncing her. The chapter draws on the findings of Ben Jones and Melanie Tebbutt to explain the importance of a woman’s reputation to the management of a household’s finance and its social position.

Keywords:   domestic violence, charity, surveillance, child protection, respectability, reputation, credit, neighbours

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