"Engines of Truth" by Wendie Ellen Schneider

Engines of Truth Producing Veracity in the Victorian Courtroom Wendie Ellen Schneider

Publication date:
24 Feb 2016
Yale University Press
280 pages: 235 x 156 x 24mm
4 b-w illus.
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During the Victorian era, new laws allowed more witnesses to testify in court cases. At the same time, an emerging cultural emphasis on truth-telling drove the development of new ways of inhibiting perjury. Strikingly original and drawing on a broad array of archival research, Wendie Schneider’s examination of the Victorian courtroom charts this period of experimentation and how its innovations shaped contemporary trial procedure. Blending legal, social, and colonial history, she shines new light on cross-examination, the most enduring product of this time and the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

Wendie Schneider teaches history at Iowa State University and is a member of the bar in Massachusetts. She lives in Nevada, IA.

“This is one of the most important contributions to the study of the Victorian legal system in a very long time, but its significance goes far wider than that. The author has fashioned a rich cultural history that is authoritative and transnational.”—Rohan McWilliam, author of The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation

“No other work has looked at nineteenth-century perjury in Britain in such a sustained way.”—Ray Cocks, University of Keele