Framed uses fin de si�cle British crime narrative to pose a highly
interesting question: why do female criminal characters tend to be
alluring and appealing while fictional male criminals of the era
are unsympathetic or even grotesque?
In this elegantly argued study, Elizabeth Carolyn Miller addresses
this question, examining popular literary and cinematic culture
from roughly 1880 to 1914 to shed light on an otherwise overlooked
social and cultural type: the conspicuously glamorous New Woman
criminal. In so doing, she breaks with the many Foucauldian studies
of crime to emphasize the genuinely subversive aspects of these
popular female figures. Drawing on a rich body of archival
material, Miller argues that the New Woman Criminal exploited
iconic elements of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century
commodity culture, including cosmetics and clothing, to fashion an
illicit identity that enabled her to subvert legal authority in
both the public and the private spheres.