In 1914, while working as a reporter for the

San Francisco Bulletin

, Sophie Treadwell covered the trial against a woman named Leah Alexander, who stood accused of murdering her lover, J. D. Van Baalen. Two years later, writing for the

New York American

, Treadwell wrote a series of about sixteen articles while covering her second sensational murder case. This time Treadwell described the trial of Mrs. Elizabeth Blair Mohr, accused of hiring three men to murder her adulterous husband. Even before the trials began, the public opinion was clearly against these women who dared defied patriarchal notions of what a woman should be. In spite of the evidences proving the abuse suffered by both defendants, Alexander and Mohr, at the hands of their partners, the legal system and the media punished…

1513 words

Citation: López-Rodríguez, Miriam. "Machinal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2005 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

16862 Machinal 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.