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The Littlehampton Libels - A Miscarriage of Justice and a Mystery about Words in 1920s England | Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Littlehampton Libels: A Miscarriage of Justice and a Mystery about Words in 1920s England

Christopher Hilliard


This book reconsiders the workings of literacy and law in everyday life in early twentieth-century Britain. It does so through an analysis of an extraordinary criminal case from the 1920s—a poison-pen mystery that led to a miscarriage of justice and four criminal trials. The case, which unfolded in the coastal Sussex town of Littlehampton, proved as difficult to the police and the lawyers involved as any capital crime. Yet the offence in question was not murder, but libel, a crime involving words. So when a leading Metropolitan Police detective was tasked with solving the case, he questioned t ... More

Keywords: literacy, libel, working class, agency, social history, cultural history, policing, criminal justice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198799658
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198799658.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher Hilliard, author
Professor of History, University of Sydney