360pp., illus., maps, paperback, Reprint, Cambridge, (2019) 2020
"A nuanced and sensitive discussion of South African histories of sexual violence, told through a detailed historical exploration of more than 600 civil and criminal cases from colonial Xhosaland between the mid-nineteenth century and 1927. The book's larger argument, and one that extends well beyond South Africa, is about who has the power to consent to and refuse sex, and the relationship of this often violent tension to broader political authority and structures of power. This book is also an extremely thoughtful contribution to the social history of law." Natasha Erlank, University of Johannesburg.
"It is no easy thing to write the history of rape: Thornberry provides the model for how it should be done. Attending equally to individual experience and to broader cultural, legal and political-economic trends, she illuminates how people in the Eastern Cape debated the meanings and implications of sexual violence. The book is brimming with insights that demonstrate how rape has fundamentally shaped South African societies and politics." Brett L. Shadle, Virginia Tech
Elizabeth Thornberry is Assistant Professor of African History at John Hopkins University. She co-edited Domestic Violence and the Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (2010).