- This is Your Hour: Christian Intellectuals in Britain and the Crisis of Europe, 1937-1949 (Forthcoming, 2019)
Most Remarkable Woman in England: Poison,
Celebrity and the Trials of Beatrice Pace
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012).
- Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England:
The Shadow of Our Refinement (Routledge, 2004). (Preview via Google Books.)
- Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe: Conflict, Community and the Social Order (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016) (See details here.)
- (with Paul Knepper) Special issue of Media History: "Crime Stories:
Criminality, Policing and the Press in Inter-war
European and Transatlantic Perspectives" Vol. 20, no. 4
(November 2014). (See details here.)
From reviews of The Most Remarkable Woman in England
(See a full list of reviews at the
'A fascinating analysis of one woman's domestic
disaster, the power of the press and public opinion.
Loved it!' -- Jenni Murray, host of BBC Radio 4's
"Woman's Hour" (You can listen to my Woman's
Hour interview here.)
A 'splendid piece of historical detective
work...immaculately researched, fluently written and
utterly compelling'. -- Dominic Sandbrook, Literary
Review (Dec 2012-Jan 2013)
'Sometimes life is better than fiction. Is there
any novelist who could have got this extraordinary story
so perfectly right, inventing it: the violence at the
heart of it, the suspense, the succession of
revelations, the passions so raw and inchoate that they
have a mythic force? And then there's the grand sweep of
the narrative, beginning in the bleak poverty of an
obscure cottage in the Forest of Dean, acted out finally
on the national stage. [...] John Carter Wood's book
about the Pace trial works because of his sober and
scrupulous assembly of the evidence, quoting the words
that were spoken and written at the time so we can feel
the textures of the material for ourselves -- the found
poetry of precise reportage.' -- Tessa Hadley, in The Guardian (26 October 2012)
'A fascinating real-life murder story.' -- Steven
Pinker, on Twitter (3 October 2012).
'Just for once, my crime book of the year isn't a
novel, but a factual account. In 1928, a quarryman
called Harry Pace died of arsenic poisoning and his
wife, Beatrice, was tried for his murder. John Carter
Wood's account of the case and trial has it all:
suspense; surprise; and a searing account of one woman's
life, marriage, and journey from poverty and obscurity
to celebrity and notoriety. Wood is brave enough to
allow much of an incredible story to tell itself through
newspaper accounts, letters and Beatrice's private
papers, and the book is all the richer for it. And
because it's a true story, he has no choice but to
include some of the more incredible plot elements that a
novelist might lose courage with! A fascinating snapshot
of interwar England, brilliantly brought to life.' -- Nicolas Upson, Faber
'This book will be an invaluable aid to those
interested in the history of criminal justice and
British society in the 1920s.' -- June Purvis, in
the Times Higher Education (22 November 2012)
'John Carter Wood writes with verve and elegance,
weaving insights into the broader social ramifications
of this trial without losing the thread courtroom drama
that makes the book such a compelling read. He has also
done much original research, clearing up questions that
previous accounts left unanswered and providing dozens
of illustrations, some of which have come from
previously-inaccessible private archives. The result is
a vivid portrayal not just of one woman's fate, but of a
society in transition. Highly recommended!' -- Andrew Hammel, Amazon.co.uk review
'This is history as murder-mystery. John Carter Wood
tells a spellbinding story of murder, using the trials
of the accused (Beatrice Pace) to reflect the nature of
celebrity culture, the legal system, and gender
relations in 1920s Britain. The fundamental question
remains: did Beatrice Pace kill her husband? You will
have to read the book to find out!' -- Joanna
Bourke, Professor of History, Birkbeck College
'The trial of Beatrice Pace was one of the most
sensational news stories in inter-war Britain. In this
thoroughly researched and clearly-argued study, John
Carter Wood is not solely concerned with the usual
question of whether or not Mrs Pace was guilty. Rather
he also focuses on the period's celebrity culture, the
role of the press, the development of public interest
and the police. In so doing, he has produced a model for
modern social and cultural historians.' -- Clive
Emsley, Professor Emeritus, Open University
From reviews of Violence and Crime in
Nineteenth-Century England (2004):
'[This book] provides the closest and most careful
analysis yet done of just what violence meant in the
everyday life of ordinary Englishmen for much of the
nineteenth century. Wood has added a new dimension to
our understanding of the history of violence and of the
textures and processes of nineteenth-century English
society.' --Martin Wiener, Rice University, Journal of Social History
'The popular success of Sarah Wise's The Italian
Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s (London,
2004) demonstrates that there is considerable interest
in the more nefarious aspects of nineteenth-century
English life. J. Carter Wood's book demonstrates that
there are also social and cultural historians who are
not afraid to contextualize and probe the stated
understandings of that era. The period 1820-70, although
much researched and enriched with primary sources, is a
difficult and ambiguous period on which to write well.
Wood writes well and he does us all a service when he
reminds us that as far as the narrative on the history
of violence is concerned, the past has only just
happened.' --Jack Anderson, Queens University
Belfast, British Journal of Criminology
'In particular, Wood makes fascinating use of trial
depositions to reconstruct the elaborate rituals
surrounding early nineteenth-century plebeian street
fights. In doing so, he brilliantly demonstrates how the
conduct of such fights often closely mirrored the
rituals of prize-fighting.' --Jon Lawrence,
University of Cambridge, Journal of Victorian
'Some historians of the eighteenth century and earlier
may dispute the contention that violence as a social
issue was an invention of the early nineteenth century.
In the same vein, it might be argued that the impact of
civilization has been overdrawn. Aside from this, Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-century England
successfully crystallizes something essential about the
nineteenth century. The complexity of the hypothesis and
analysis will make this a difficult read for most
undergraduates. However, this sophisticated, scholarly
and impressive book will no doubt become indispensable
reading for all interested in social order and
disorder.' --Alyson Brown, Edge Hill University, Social History
'This book is the product of an impressive and
energetic intelligence.' --Simon Devereaux,
University of Victoria, Law and History Review
'Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England
is theoretically informed by the ideas of Elias and
Foucault and empirically grounded in first-hand accounts
of violent acts. This combination of strengths makes it
a useful addition to the growing body of work that
attempts to explain long-term trends in violence.' --Ian O'Donnell, University College Dublin, Figurations
Articles, Chapters, Essays
- "The Press and the Criminal Trial: Britain in the 1920s", in Criminal Justice in Modern Europe, 1870–1970, ed. Richard Wetzell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2018).
- "Crime, Media and Modernity in the Twentieth Century", in A Global History of Crime and Punishment in the Modern Age, ed. Paul Lawrence (London: Bloomsbury, in progress, 2018)
- "When Personalism Met Planning: Jacques Maritain and a British Christian Intellectual Circle, 1937-1949", in What's So New about Scholasticism? How Neo-Thomism Helped Shape the Twentieth Century, ed. Rajesh Heynickx and Stéphane Symons (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming, 2018). (Chapter draft)
- "Future Research Agendas on Violent Crime: The Challenges to History from Evolutionary Psychology", in special issue on future agendas in crime history: Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies (forthcoming, 2017). (Draft)
- "Blessed is the Nation? Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe", in Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe: Conflict, Community, and the Social Order, ed. John Carter Wood (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2016), 11-31. (Chapter)
- "'The rock of human sanity stands in the sea where it always stood': Britishness, Christianity, and the Experience of (Near) Defeat, 1937–1941", in Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe: Conflict, Community, and the Social Order, ed. John Carter Wood (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2016), 131-148. (Chapter)
- "'A fundamental re-orientation of outlook': Religiöse Intellektuelle und das Ziel einer 'christlichen Gesellschaft' in Großbritannien, 1937-1949", in Kulturelle Souveränität -- Politische Deutungs- und Handlungsmacht jenseits des Staates im 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Johannes Paulmann, Gregor Feindt, and Bernhard Gißibl (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016), 165-194. (Chapter)
- "Crime News and the Press," in The Oxford Handbook
of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, ed.
Paul Knepper and Anja Johansen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 301-319. (Chapter)
- (with Peter King) "Black People and the Criminal Justice System: Prejudice and Practice in Later Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century London", Historical Research 88 (2015): 100-124. (Article)
- (with Paul Knepper), "Crime Stories: Criminality,
Policing and the Press in Inter-war European and
Transatlantic Perspectives," Media History 20.4
(2014): 345-351. (Article;
- "The Constables and the Garage Girl: The Police, the
Press, and the Case of Helene Adele," Media History
20.4 (2014): 384-399. (Article)
- "Zwischen Mammon und Marx: Christliche
Kapitalismuskritik in Großbritannien 1930-1939," in Religion und Kapitalismus, ed. Robert König
(Kaltenleutgeben: Ferstl & Perz, 2014), 147-176. (Book
- "Drinking, Fighting and Working-Class Sociability in
Nineteenth-Century Britain," in Drink in the
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Perspectives in
Economic and Social History, ed. Susanne Schmid
and Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp (London: Pickering and
Chatto, 2014), 71-80. (Book info; draft)
- "Public Opinion and the Rhetoric of Police Powers in
1920s Britain," in Justice et Espaces Publics en
Occident du Moyen Âge à Nos Jours: Pouvoirs, Publicité et Citoyenneté, ed. Pascal Bastien, Donald Fyson,
Jean-Philippe Garneau and Thierry Nootens (Quebec:
Presses de l'Université de Québec, 2014), 327-337. (Book
- "'German Foolishness' and the 'Prophet of Doom':
Oswald Spengler and the Inter-war British Press," in Oswald Spengler als europäisches Phänomen. Der Transfer der
Kultur- und Geschichtsmorphologie im Europa der
Zwischenkriegszeit (1919-1939), ed Zaur Gasimov
and Carl Antonius Lemke Duque (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, 2013), 157-184. (Flyer available here;
- "Watching the Detectives (and the Constables): Fearing
the Police in 1920s Britain," in Moral Panics,
Social Fears, and the Media: Historical Perspectives,
ed. Sian Nicholas and Tom O'Malley (Abingdon: Routledge,
2013), 147-161. (Book info; essay
- "Press, Politics and the 'Police and Public' Debates
in Late 1920s Britain," Crime, Histoire & Sociétés 16.1 (2012):
75-98. (Essay draft)
- "'Going mad is their only way of staying sane':
Norbert Elias and the Civilised Violence of J.G.
Ballard," in J. G. Ballard: Visions and Revisions, ed.
Jeannette Baxter and Rowland Wymer (London: Palgrave,
2011), 198-214. (Essay
- "A Change of Perspective: Integrating Evolutionary
Psychology into the Historiography of Violence," British Journal of Criminology 51 (2011): 479-498. (Article here;
- "Reading Spaces and Reading Violence in
Nineteenth-Century Britain," Journal for the Study
of British Cultures 17.2 (2010): 133-143. (Article)
- "'The Third Degree': Press Reporting, Crime Fiction
and Police Powers in 1920s Britain," Twentieth
Century British History 21.4 (2010): 464-485.
- (with Anja Müller-Wood) "How Is Culture Biological? Violence: Real and
Imagined," Politics and Culture (2010, Issue 1,
Bioculture: Evolutionary Cultural Studies).
- "'Those Who Have Had Trouble Can Sympathise with
You': Press Writing, Reader Responses and a Murder Trial
in Interwar Britain," Journal of Social History
43.2 (2009): 439-462. (Article here;
- "'Mrs. Pace' and the Ambiguous Language of
Victimisation," in (Re)Interpretations:
The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience, ed.
Lisa Dresdner and Laurel Peterson (Newcastle: Cambridge
Scholars Publishing, 2009), 79-93. (Chapter)
- "Recent work on Elias and Violence: History,
Evolutionary Psychology and Literature," Figurations
28, (December 2007): 6-8.
- (with Anja Müller-Wood) "Bringing the Past to Heel:
History, Identity and Violence in Ian McEwan's Black
Dogs," Literature and History 16.2 (2007):
43-56. (Article here
- "Evolution, Civilization and History: A Response to
Wiener and Rosenwein," Cultural and Social History
4.4 (2007): 559-565. (Available here;
- "The Limits of Culture? Society, Evolutionary
Psychology and the History of Violence," Cultural
and Social History 4.1 2007: 95-114. (Available here
- "Locating Violence: The Spatial Production and
Construction of Physical Aggression," in Assaulting the Past: Violence and Civilization in
Historical Context, ed. Katherine D. Watson
(Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007): 20-37.
- "Conceptualising Cultures of Violence and Cultural
Change," in Cultures
of Violence: Interpersonal Violence in
Historical Perspective, ed. Stuart Carroll
(London: Macmillan, 2007): 79-96. (Draft)
- "Criminal Violence in Modern Britain," History
Compass 4.1 (2006): 77-90.
- "The Process of Civilization (and its Discontents):
Violence, Narrative and History", in Discourses of Violence - Violence of Discourses: Critical
Interventions, Transgressive Readings and
Post-National Negotiations ed. Dirk Wiemann, Agata
Stopinska, Anke Bartels, Johannes Angermüller
(Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2005): 117-128.
- "A Useful Savagery: The Invention of Violence in
Nineteenth-Century England," The Journal of
Victorian Culture 9.1 (2004): 22-42. (Article here
- "It's a Small World After All?: Reflections on
Violence in Comparative Perspectives," in Comparative Histories of Crime, edited by Barry Godfrey,
Clive Emsley and Graeme Dunstall (Willan, 2003): 36-52.
- "Self-Policing and the Policing of the Self: Violence, Protection and
the Civilising Bargain in Britain," Crime,
Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies
7.1 (2003): 109-128.
- Review of Drew D. Gray, Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1660-1900 in Journal of British Studies 56.2 (2017): 426-428.
- Review of Louise Jackson with Angela Bartie, Policing Youth: Britain 1945-1970 in Economic History Review 68.3 (2015): 1081-1082.
- Review of Pieter Spierenburg, Violence and Punishment. Civilizing the Body through Time in Crime,
Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies 18.2 (2014): 158-161.
- Review of Rosalind Crone, Violent Victorians: Popular
Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century London in Journal
of Social History 48.1 (2014): 205-207.
of Judith Rowbotham, Marianna Muravyeva and David Nash,
eds, Shame, Blame and Culpability: Crime and
Violence in the Modern State in Law, Crime and
History 3.2 (2013): 183-186.
of Haia Shpayer-Makov, The Ascent of the Detective:
Police Sleuths in Victorian and Edwardian England
in Reviews in History (2013).
- Review of Monica Flegel, Conceptualizing Cruelty
to Children in Nineteenth-Century England in Nineteenth-Century Prose 40.2 (2013): 258-261.
- Review of Joanne Klein, Invisible Men: The Secret Lives
of Police Constables in Liverpool, Manchester, and
Birmingham, 1900-1939 in the Journal of
British Studies 50.4 (2011): 1016-1017 .
of David Taylor, Hooligans, Harlots, and Hangmen:
Crime and Punishment in Victorian Britain in the
Journal of Social History 45.1 (2011): 310-312.
of Lisa Rosner, The Anatomy Murders in the Journal of British Studies 49.4 (2010): 919-921.
of Shani D'Cruze and Louise Jackson, Women, Crime
and Justice in England since 1660 in the Economic History Review 63.3 (2010): 814-815.
- Reviewof Pieter Spierenburg, A History of Murder:
Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to
the Present in the Journal of Social History
44.1 (2010): 288-290.
- Review essay on Anne-Marie Kilday, Women and Violent
Crime in Enlightenment Scotland and Gregory
Durston, Victims and Viragos: Metropolitan Women,
Crime and the Eighteenth-Century Justice System in
the Journal of Social History 43.4 (2010):
of Richard Mc Mahon, ed., Crime, Law and Popular
Culture in Europe, 1500-1900 in the Economic
History Review 62.2 (2009): 496-497.
of Gregory Hanlon, Human Nature in Rural Tuscany: An
Early Modern History in Cultural and Social
History 6.1 (2009): 122-124.
of Dan Vyleta, Crime, Jews and News, Vienna
1895-1914 in Cultural and Social History
5.2 (2008): 253-255.
- Review of Stephen Kern, A Cultural History of
Causality: Science, Murder Novels and Systems of
Thought in Cultural and Social History 4.4
of Clive Emsley, Hard Men: Violence in England since
1750 in the Journal of Social History 40.3
of Jennine Hurl-Eamon, Gender and Petty Violence in
London, 1680-1720 in the Journal of Social
History 40.2 (2006): 508-510.
- Review of Martin Wiener, Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness
and Criminal Justice in Victorian England in the Journal of Social History, 39.1 (2005): 266-268.
- Review of Jeannie Duckworth, Fagin's Children in Albion
36.2 (2004): 309-311.
- Review essay on Haia Shpayer-Makov, The Making of a Policeman: A Social History of a Labour Force in
Metropolitan London, 1829-1914 and David Taylor, Policing the Victorian Town: The Development of the Police in Middlesbrough, c. 1840-1914 in the Journal of
Victorian Culture 9.1 (2004): 128-133.
- Review of Louis A. Knafla, ed., Policing and War in
Europe in Albion 35.3 (2003): 511-513.
- Review of Thomas W. Gallant, Experiencing Dominion:
Culture, Identity and Power in the British
Mediterranean in the Journal of Social History
37.1 (2003): 242-244.
- Review of Shani D'Cruze, ed., Everyday Violence in Britain
1850-1950: Gender and Class in the Journal of
Social History 36.3 (Spring 2003): 813-815.
- Review of Julius R. Ruff, Violence in Early Modern
Europe, 1500-1800 in the Journal of Social
History 36.2 (2002): 479-481.