The events of the Pace case occurred within the context of inter-war British crime, media and police history, the study of which has been rapidly expanding in recent years.
I am very pleased to be able to announce that a special issue of Media History
edited by myself and Paul Knepper -- "Criminality, Policing and the
Press in Inter-war European and Transatlantic Perspectives" -- has now
left the printers (which I can confirm since I received my copy today).
four main articles (access to which will require an institutional
subscription, probably through a university) consider a variety of
Rogues of the Racecourse: Racing Men and the Press in Interwar Britain", Heather Shore (Leeds
Metropolitan) considers the often dramatic (and sometimes violent)
world of racecourse gangs and their presentation in both the serious and
sensationalist newspaper press. (Among those gangs considered in the
article are then then-infamous Sabinis, who have featured recently in
fictional form in the hit British television show Peaky Blinders.)
In "Two Suspicious Persons: Norwegian Narratives and Images of a Police Murder Case, 1926-1950", Per Jørgen Ystehede
(University of Oslo) takes a cross-media look at a case of police
murder that, although legendary within Norway, has yet to be given the
attention it deserves outside of that national context. Featuring stills
from the 1949 feature film based on the case (which was banned in 1952
and not shown again until 2007), the article locates the Norwegian
discourse around the case both within national and broader European
trends involving perceptions of crime.
The Constables and the 'Garage Girl': The Police, the Press, and the Case of Helene Adele",
considers the controversy that arose when two London Metropolitan
Police constables arrested a young woman for alleged disorder in the
summer of 1928. She accused the constables of attempting to sexually
assault her and use false charges to discredit her story, leading to a
trial (and the eventual conviction) of the two men. Placed within the
context of the period's sensationalist press and a long series of police
scandals, the case has much to say about the complexities of "human
interest" journalism in the 1920s.
Paul Knepper (University of Sheffield), in "International Criminals: The League of Nations, the Traffic in Women and the Press", explores one
of the lesser known aspects of the League's activities in the inter-war
period: the campaign against the traffic in women (previously known as
"white slavery"). An important stage in the evolution of the modern
language of "human trafficking", the League's investigations and reports
were not only given widespread coverage but served as an important
justification for the international organisation's existence.
In addition, Paul and I present an introductory essay
(access to this is FREE) that explores some European and transatlantic
contexts of recent crime-and-media historiography, which has--certainly
for the inter-war period--become a very active field in recent years.
special issue had its origins in a session of the 2012 European Social
Science History Conference in Glasgow that I organised, though there
have been a few twists and turns since then.
been a great experience to work with such talented colleagues who are,
truly, not only engaged in some fascinating research but also capable of
framing their work in clear and vivid language.
Furthermore, it was a very positive experience working with Media History, and we are all quite happy with the result.
Should anyone be interested in a copy of these essays but not have access to them through their institution, please do contact me. (Drafts of the introductory essay and my own article are available via my academia.edu page).
[Cross-posted at Obscene Desserts]