British Detective Fiction in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries (Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, 2017) by Anne Humpherys


The_Notting_Hill_Mystery,_section_V,_Once_A_WeekAn excellent introduction to British Detective Fiction in the 19th and early 20th century (Online Publication Date: Jun 2017), available free here. I believe that it may be of interest to some regular or occasional readers of this blog.

Description: ‘British detective fiction from 1840 to 1914 traces an arc of development from a few precursors to Poe’s Dupin stories and on through a variety of authors and detectives (some women) in the second half of the 19th century to the 1890s and Sherlock Holmes, arguably the best-known fictional detective in the world. Contemporaneous with the Sherlock Holmes stories and frequently influenced by them are an increasing variety of male and female detectives, including, for example, insurance investigators, educated women, doctors, and even a Catholic priest. After World War I, a new arc of development begins with Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.’

The picture enclosed to this post was uploaded from Wikipedia. It is the cover of The Notting Hill Mystery –a story by Charles Warren Adams (1833-1903) (alias “Charles Felix”), artwork by George du Maurier (1834-1896)– arguably regarded as the very first detective novel in the English language. It was first published as an eight-part serial in Once A Week magazine beginning on 29 November 1862, then as a single-volume novel in 1865 by Saunders, Otley, and Company, with illustrations by George du Maurier (grandfather of Daphne du Maurier). Source: Wikipedia.

Paper Content

  • Summary and Keywords
  • Beginnings: 1773–1863
  • Between Auguste Dupin and Sherlock Holmes: 1864–1887
  • Sherlock Holmes: 1887–1926
  • British Detective Fiction after Sherlock Holmes: 1893–1914
  • Discussion of the Literature
  • Digital Resources
  • Further Reading
  • Notes

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