chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

ByNancy Locklin

The “Introduction” explains that this study is a microhistory concerning the murder of one woman at the hands of another in 1718 in a remote part of France. It places this particular murder into the context of historiographical debates surrounding the usefulness of microhistories, the explanations for why some cultures in a given era seem more prone to violence than others, the changes in the definition of and reaction to homicide, and the transformation of the criminal justice system in the last decades of the Old Regime in France. The “Introduction” concludes that the activities of individuals in one judicial community can shed light on all of these issues.