University of Hertfordshire

Life and Death of the Wicked Lady Skelton

University of Hertfordshire Research Archive

Help | UH Research Archive

Show simple item record

contributor authorHughes, Rowland
date accessioned2018-05-11T17:13:38Z
date available2018-05-11T17:13:38Z
date issued2016-05-01
identifier citationHughes , R Life and Death of the Wicked Lady Skelton .en
identifier otherPURE: 10203064
identifier otherPURE UUID: e6ba360d-d7e4-40b2-a1bc-42ede1820e56
identifier uri
description abstractFirst published in 1944, Magdalen King-Hall's Life and Death of the Wicked Lady Skelton is a historical novel set in late-seventeenth-century England. It tells the story of Barbara Skelton, a well-born young woman trapped in a loveless marriage, who finds escape from the tedium of her life by leading a double life as a highway robber. Rich in historical detail and high on melodrama, the novel follows Barbara's infamous career of robbery, adultery and murder, without painting her entirely as a monster. Indeed, the novel's status as a best-seller owes much to King-Hall's sympathetic depiction of the frustrations of domestic life for an ambitious, intelligent woman with no means of self-expression.The book was inspired by the legend of Katharine Ferrers, who reputedly terrorised the highways of the county of Hertfordshire during the 1650s. In turn, King-Hall's novel was itself quickly adapted into the classic British film The Wicked Lady, produced by Gainsborough Studios in 1945, starring Margaret Lockwood, Patricia Roc and James Mason. In his critical introduction to this new edition of Life and Death of the Wicked Lady Skelton, Rowland Hughes relates the novel to the legend, and to the popularity of women's historical fiction in the 1940s. He explains the success of both novel and film by considering how a story of female empowerment, sexual promiscuity and cross-dressing spoke powerfully to a contemporary audience just emerging from the Second World War.en
format extent260en
language isoeng
publisherUH Press
subjectWicked Ladyen
subjectHistorical fictionen
subjectHertfordshire folkloreen
subjectPopular fictionen
titleLife and Death of the Wicked Lady Skeltonen
contributor institutionSchool of Humanitiesen
contributor institutionEnglish Literature and Creative Writingen
contributor institutionEnglish Literatureen

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Your requested file is now available for download. You may start your download by selecting the following link: test