Stealing Things traces the representations of thieves and thievery in nineteenth-century French vels. Re-reading canical texts by Balzac, the Comtesse de Segur, and Zola through the lens of crime, Peters highlights bourgeois anxiety about ownership and objects while considering the impact of literature on popular attitudes about crime and its legislation and punishment. A detailed analysis of the role of objects, this work chronicles nineteenth-century changes in legal attitudes, popular mentalities, and individual and social identity, focusing particularly on the resulting transformations in representations of gender, class, and (criminal) subjectivity.
Rosemary Peters is assistant professor in the Department of French Studies and Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. She has edited two volumes of collected essays and is the founder of the Foreign Language Film Conference.