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    A bruise, a neck and a little finger: the visual archive of Ruth Ellis

    Nead, Lynda (2022) A bruise, a neck and a little finger: the visual archive of Ruth Ellis. Radical History Review 142 , pp. 57-71. ISSN 0163-6545.

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    Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. On April 10, 1955, in front of witnesses, she shot and killed her lover, David Blakely, and was immediately arrested and imprisoned. In so many other ways, however, her life was similar to those of many aspirational women of the working classes in postwar Britain; she achieved notoriety because of the murder and execution. This essay uses archives of press photography to examine the diverse ways in which Ellis constructed her identity and was represented to the public as a sexualized woman. It attempts a feminist encounter with the visual archive—an encounter not only with an individual woman but also, and as importantly, with 1950s sex, sexuality, class, and violence.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): postwar Britain, sexuality, photography, Ruth Ellis
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021 09:28
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:08


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