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Victorian tales of mystery and detection : an Oxford anthology

Author: Michael Cox
Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Like ghost stories, short tales of mystery and detection were part of the Victorian reader's staple diet. But where the ghost story often cautioned against too great a faith in reason and showed men and women being persecuted by the inexplicable, the detective story celebrated the human ability to explain and comprehend. Edgar Allan Poe's stories concerning the investigations of the brilliant but eccentric Chevalier  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction
Short stories
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Victorian tales of mystery and detection.
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1992
(OCoLC)646846446
Material Type: Fiction, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Cox
ISBN: 0192123084 9780192123084
OCLC Number: 25131374
Description: xxvi, 578 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: The purloined letter / Edgar Allan Poe --
The murdered cousin / J.S. Le Fanu --
Hunted down / Charles Dickens --
Levison's victim / Mary Elizabeth Braddon --
The mystery at number seven / Mrs Henry Wood --
The going out of Alessandro Pozzone / Richard Dowling --
Who killed Zebedee? / Wilkie Collins --
A circumstantial puzzle / R.E. Francillon --
The mystery of Essex stairs / Sir Gilbert Campbell --
The adventure of the blue carbuncle / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle --
The great ruby robbery / Grant Allen --
The sapient monkey / Headon Hill --
Cheating the gallows / Israel Zangwill --
Drawn daggers / C.L. Pirkis --
The greenstone god and the stockbroker / Fergus Hume --
The arrest of Captain Vandaleur / L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace --
The accusing shadow / Harry Blyth --
The ivy cottage mystery / Arthur Morrison --
The Azteck opal / Rodrigues Ottolengui --
The long arm / Mary E. Wilkins --
The case of Euphemia Raphash / M.P. Shiel --
The tin box / Herbert Keen --
Murder by proxy / M. McDonnell Bodkin --
The duchess of Wiltshire's diamonds / Guy Boothby --
The story of the Spaniards, Hammersmith / E. and H. Heron --
The lost special / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle --
The banknote forger / C.J. Cutcliffe Hyne --
A warning in red / Victor L. Whitechurch and E. Conway --
The Fenchurch Street mystery / Baroness Orczy --
The green spider / Sax Rohmer --
The clue of the silver spoons / Robert Barr.
Responsibility: selected and introduced by Michael Cox.
More information:

Abstract:

Like ghost stories, short tales of mystery and detection were part of the Victorian reader's staple diet. But where the ghost story often cautioned against too great a faith in reason and showed men and women being persecuted by the inexplicable, the detective story celebrated the human ability to explain and comprehend. Edgar Allan Poe's stories concerning the investigations of the brilliant but eccentric Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin form the fountainhead of the detective-story tradition. Thereafter the detective story developed within the framework of mid-Victorian sensation fiction, with its emphasis on crime in contemporary settings and ingeniously devised plots. Then, in 1891, the first series of Sherlock Holmes stories began to appear in the Strand magazine and the detective story was never the same again. In this entertaining anthology Michael Cox has assembled a wide ranging selection of 31 stories from authors such as J.S. Le Fanu, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs. Henry Wood, Wilkie Collins, Grant Allen, L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, Fergus Hume, Arthur Morrison, M.P. Shiel, Baroness Orczy, Sax Rohmer, Robert Barr, and - inevitably - Arthur Conan Doyle. There are police detectives, gentleman amateurs, lady detectives (such as Catherine Pirkis's Loveday Brooke), professional consulting detectives, even an 'anti-detective' (Guy Boothby's Klimo, who devises a crime for himself to solve), and a psychic detective. The villains against whom they pit their wits are equally various, as are their crimes - from fraud and forgery to theft, abduction, and of course murder most foul, whether by poison, bullet, or blade. These stories offer hours of enjoyable escape for all lovers of crime fiction. They also bring alive the Victorian age - its social distinctions, its language and domestic surroundings and, most typically, the sights and sounds of its streets - and together provide an outline of the Victorian detective story from the 1840s to the early years of the twentieth century.

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