The Legal History Podcast

EPISODE 3: Sara L. Crosby

May 25, 2019

In this episode, Siobhan talks with Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University at Marion, Sara L. Crosby, about her new book, Poisonous Muse: The Female Poisoner and the Framing of Popular Authorship in Jacksonian America. Crosby discusses how the trope of the female poisoner permeated popular literature in the mid-nineteenth century. In her analysis of the 1840 murder trial of Hannah Kinney, we see how the partisan press used the accused as a vessel through which to fight-out central political battles of the day. We then see how jury decisions may serve as a metric for determining which metaphors and cultural frames are prevailing at a point in time. Following a popular metaphor enables Crosby to track the cultural tides influencing law and politics in Jacksonian America.

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