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November 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm #7422Andie KreamerGuest
Never Seen the Moon
The Trials of Edith Maxwell
by Sharon Hatfield
- Awards: Weatherford Award for Nonfiction (2005)
- Publisher: University of Illinois Press
- Format: hardcover, 320 pages
- Release date: April 13, 2005
- ISBN: 9780252030031 (0252030036)
- Author: Sharon Hatfield
- Language: english
About The Book
“Free-spirited young teacher Edith Maxwell returned late one July night in 1935 to her Wise County, Virginia, home and to her conservative and domineering father, Trigg. After hearing a scuffle, a neighbor arrived to find Trigg Maxwell lying unconscious on the kitchen floor as his family looked on. Within fifteen minutes Maxwell was dead — evidently from being bludgeoned. Edith and her mother, Ann, were indicted for his murder the next day.” “Never Seen the Moon is the story of how an event local authorities dismissed as just another murder came to captivate newspaper readers across the country. The case also symbolized a national shift in attitudes toward women and their place in the world — particularly the issue of jury participation.” “Edith claimed that her father had tried to whip her for staying out late. She had, she said, defended herself with a high-heeled shoe, thus earning the sobriquets “slipper slayer” and “curfew girl.” Immediately granted celebrity status by the powerful Hearst newspaper syndicate, Maxwell was also championed as a martyr by advocates of women’s causes. Claiming her actions to be a justified reaction to years of physical and verbal abuse, feminists regarded the case as the embodiment of the depression-era debate between modern and traditional values.” “Maxwell’s story would eventually be picked up by the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and even detective magazines. Nationally known journalists, including Ernie Pyle, James Thurber, and Walter Winchell, commented on the case. Warner Brothers created a screen version of the story, and Eleanor Roosevelt helped in securing Maxwell’s early release from prison.” Never Seen the Moon presents a recreation of a young woman’s wild ride through the legal system. It also examines the national press’s stereotyped coverage of Appalachian culture and that coverage’s effect on the outcome of the case. Hatfield’s discussions of class and gender tensions in a developing region, the
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