Trials of Conscience in Victorian Law and Literature

Jessica Murray

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Trials of Conscience in Victorian Law and Literature traces modulations in the meanings of the word
conscience to examine how it concentres interactions between Victorian law and literature. This
thesis argues that while legal discourses, increasingly positivist and utilitarian in character, selfconsciously
shifted away from conscience—now associated with morally inflected conceptions of
interiority and the word “I”—literary representations of conscience manifest anxieties about the
relationship between individuals and the law: the power of the law to shape or corrupt interior
conscience, or the ways resources of legal language influence how individuals articulate moral
crises, and their reflexive judgments of themselves.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Dolin, Kieran, Supervisor
  • White, Robert, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022

Embargo information

  • Embargoed from 03/10/2022 to 03/10/2024. Will become publicly avaliable on 03/10/2024

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