Building Society and Governing Intimacy: Gender, Law, and Constructions of Sexuality and Courtship in Late-Nineteenth Century British Columbia

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Lutes, Laura Anne




This thesis examines Victorian concepts of courtship, masculinity, and femininity in late- nineteenth century British Columbia as they were constructed, perpetuated, and understood through legal trials involving seduction and abortion. With a focus on the capital city of Victoria and the interior Kootenay region, this thesis argues that case files, press reports, and associated political and legal texts allow scholars to gain a better understanding of Victorian ideologies, especially when contextualized within the moral and physical geographies of British Columbia. By paying greater attention
to the discourses of gender and sexuality and how they intertwined with changing concepts of governance in late-Victorian British Columbian society, we can have a more in-depth understanding of the province’s regional history. The conclusions of this thesis point to the need for more social histories of nineteenth-century British Columbia in order to better understand the province’s (re)making as a settler society and culture.


Canadian History
Gender Studies




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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