Lunch hour lectures repository Spring 2010
- Beating cigarette addiction – the latest evidence
- Interpreting opera through economic theory
- Deconstruction today
- See no evil...: The (Im)morality of denying genocide
- Genetic testing for heart disease risk: fact or fiction?
- What would an alien look like?
- Wet dreams: making urban water systems sustainable
- Jeremy Bentham and UCL: Corpse and corpus
- Venomous Women: Poison murderesses in nineteenth-century Germany
- Smartcities + eco-warriors
- Energy and climate; clearing the fog
- Love, death and the pursuit of happiness: How evolution invented Hollywood
- The end of Roman Britain: what ended, when and why?
- Do books have a future?
- Sex, drugs, and rock and roll: Who is doing what in England?
- The social brain
Download Lunch Hour Lectures
to your mobile device
from 7 days after the live event
at iTunes U.
Venomous Women: Poison murderesses in nineteenth-century Germany
27 November 2009
Tuesday 23 February 2010
Professor Susanne Kord (UCL German)
Women and poison have long been thought of as elective affinities: poison is presumed to be a ‘woman’s weapon’, and poison murder as quintessentially ‘female’. An example documenting these assumptions is the case of Germany’s most famous serial killer, Gesche Margarethe Gottfried (1785-1831), convicted of murdering fifteen people, including her entire family.
This lecture offers an analysis of her interrogation records, her psychological profile (one of the earliest in Germany) and of contemporary fiction about the case. The focus will be on Gottfried’s motives, which she refused to reveal and which have remained mysterious to this day. Can these motives be seen not only as those of a female killer, but as more generally ‘female’?
Page last modified on 27 nov 09 08:46