Professor Amanda Vickery presents dramatised extracts from gripping court cases and discusses with fellow historians what they reveal about 18th century society and culture.
This time, Amanda listens to the voices of criminal women in the Old Bailey, with fellow historians Judith Hawley, Peter King and Jeremy Barlow, on location in a crowded 18th century lodging house.
The first is a shoplifter, who pilfers a pair of silk gloves. She faces the gallows - but the jury saves her life.
The second is a con-woman, and her case tells us a lot about the vulnerability of men in the 18th century.
The last is an abused wife who chooses the ultimate way out: murder. But once she has murdered her shopkeeper husband, she has great trouble disposing of the body...
Producer: Elizabeth Burke
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.