Sunday, 4 March 2012

Young Beatrice Pace

Nearly all the photos of Beatrice Pace that appeared in the press in 1928 were contemporary with the events of the case.

The one exception I found was this photo, which appeared on the front page of Thomson's Weekly News and purports to show Beatrice as a young woman 'in service'. (She had spent three years in London as a teenager during the Edwardian years as a domestic servant.)

Click for larger version.

It's an interesting picture. But I have to say the cat is a rather weird touch.

I'm still trying to work out whether it's real or not.

As I have noted, it's important to consider the context in which such images appeared. Thomson's Weekly News was at the more sensationalist end of the press spectrum at this period, and it specialised in 'tragic' stories, especially those featuring women.

Here's the front page as a whole:

Click for larger version.

In the story on the left, Mrs Cissie Nellie Reene tells of the travails she had suffered due to her husband's bigamy.

As I describe in the book, the image of Beatrice as a 'tragic widow' played a significant role in defining her public persona, a role that was enabled by a popular press that focused on sensational, melodramatic and sometimes simply prurient stories of women's suffering.

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