Exploring Fallen Men and Seducers in the Victorian Era

Please help me fund my PhD at Birkbeck to kickstart my dream of working in history.

Exploring Fallen Men and Seducers in the Victorian Era
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This project will only receive pledges if at least £500 is pledged by Sat 30 Jun 2018

A short summary of my project

I am hoping to raise money for my PhD which I will be starting in the Autumn term.  My thesis is focused on fallen men and seducers from the Victorian period, or in other words, the men involved with fallen women.  This is a fascinating project that will add more understanding to ideas around sex, sexuality and masculinity in the Victorian period.

Who am i?

I am Nicola Lambert and have completed a BA in History and an MA in gender and sexuality, focusing on modern British history at Birkbeck, University of London.  My MA dissertation centred on how fallen women were discussed in the press and inspired my thesis for my PhD.  My PhD will begin in the Autumn term and I am currently searching for funding to help with the cost of tuition fees and expenses.

my project

Whilst completing my masters’ dissertation on fallen women in the popular press, I was struck by the large amount of references regarding the men involved with fallen women.  There were common themes that appeared again and again within the articles.  I found many instances of the fallen woman’s seducer being portrayed as a villain and many discussions regarding the problem of morality and the existence of “fallen men”.  I found this interesting due to the fact that, for the most part, most of the secondary sources either cover fallen women or ideas around masculinity.  These articles showed me, however, the opportunity to marry the two subjects to present a more in-depth understanding of Victorian ideas around sex, sexuality, and gender.  It, furthermore, allows for us to remove the veil over what for the most part has appeared to be a rather permissive society regarding male sexual activities during this period.

“Fallen Woman” has a broad meaning that not only refers to prostitutes but also to married women who had affairs and unmarried girls who had sex outside of wedlock.  This work will, therefore, look at the range of men who were involved with these different women: seducers, fallen men, even husbands to adulteresses.  Without retracting the difficulties which women faced at this time, I aim to demonstrate the problems that men faced when they were known to be involved with fallen women and to show that society was far less enabling than it initially appeared.  Many of those labelled as seducers, for example, were portrayed as villains, and the man who had an affair with a married woman would, if caught, be forced to pay the husband damages by the courts for “criminal conversation.”  Through analysing these problems, I aim to contribute to the knowledge surrounding ideas around sex, sexuality and masculinity in the Victorian period.

Where will the money go?

With your help, if I reach the minimum target then that money will cover my deposit for my tuition fees, but if I reach my full target then I will be able to afford the full tuition fees which costs £4100 and expenses to help with the first year of my PhD.  This money will enable me to start my PhD and cover expenses for the year; if it goes well and I am able to raise more, the money will help to contribute to the tuition fees of my second year as well.


I am grateful for any help you can give, which is why I have some unique gifts for anyone who is able to donate.

keep in touch

If you would like to keep up-to-date with my progress, I will be posting interesting finds from my PhD on my twitter account: @historygal112 .  For short blog articles related to my interests in history you can check out my website: www.historygal.info .

Help me succeed!

If you are able to help in anyway then I would be really grateful; even if you feel that you are not able to make a donation then you can also help me by sharing this page to spread the message.

If you are able to help me to fulfill my dream and sponsor me, I would like to thank you.