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A Diva Defends Herself: Gender And Domestic Violence In An Early Twentieth-Century Headline Trial, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2011

A Diva Defends Herself: Gender And Domestic Violence In An Early Twentieth-Century Headline Trial, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

This short article was presented as part of a symposium on headline criminal trials, organized by St. Louis University School of Law in honor of Lawrence Friedman. It describes and analyzes the self-defense acquittal of opera singer Mae Talbot in Nevada in 1910 on charges of murdering her abusive husband. Based on extensive research into archival trial records and newspaper reports, the article discusses how the press, the court, and trial lawyers on both sides depicted the killing and Mae’s possible defenses. Without discounting the sensationalism and entertainment value, to a scandal-hungry public, of stories about violent marriages, I ...