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Adapting Detective Fiction : Crime, Englishness and the TV Detectives - Neil McCaw

Adapting Detective Fiction

Crime, Englishness and the TV Detectives

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Published: 20th January 2011
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`Adapting Detective Fiction is an insightful and illuminating analysis of the various television adaptations of British detective fiction. It investigates the links between literary texts, television adaptations, and the socio-economic framework connecting and informing both, and in so doing it does for British detective fiction what Sean McCann's Gumshoe America did for American crime fiction. Nell McCaw produces fascinating readings of key texts and their television adaptations, but also reveals the complex web of social, cultural, economic, and political forces that lie behind the adaptations. As an investigation of the mediation between past and present that these adaptations represent, the book identifies what they say about national identity, nostalgia, and cultural values.' John Scaggs, Associate Professor of English, Southwestern College, USA

Adapting Detective Fiction is in one sense a study of specific instances of adaptation, with close readings of both the originating sources and adapted texts themseleves. But it is also more than this. It is a study of the politics of representation in the last decades of the twentieth century, and the role television detective fiction plays in this. It is about the mutually-informing interrelation of cultural texts and political rhetoric and ideas, about the connections between ideas of crime and criminality (and criminology more generally) and popular cultural understandings of human behaviour and culpability; most of all, it is about the relationship between culture and social change, and how a detailed consideration of the processes of adaptation reveals much about the shifting nature of the world in which we live. With specific reference to television series such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Inspector Morse, A Touch of Frost, Cadfael, and Midsomer Murders, Adapting Detective Fiction uses adaptation as the basis for an exercise in cultural histoyr, an examination of the character and nature of the last decades of the twentieth century, and an illustration of the fundamental role detective fictions play in our popular beliefs about the nature of crime and Englishness.

Adapting Detective Fiction is an insightful and illuminating analysis of the various television adaptations of British detective fiction. It investigates the links between literary texts, television adaptations, and the socio-economic framework connecting and informing both, and in so doing it does for British detective fiction what Sean McCann's Gumshoe America did for American crime fiction. Neil McCaw produces fascinating readings of key texts and their television adaptations, but also reveals the complex web of social, cultural, economic, and political forces that lie behind the adaptations. As an investigation of the mediation between past and present that these adaptations represent, the book identifies what they say about national identity, nostalgia, and cultural values.--Sanford Lakoff

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: Adaptation and Cultural History; 2. Sherlock Holmes and the Authenticity of Crime; 3. Miss Marple, Criminality and Englishness; 4. Morse, Heritage and the End of History; 5. Jack Frost and the Condition of England Question; 6. Cadfael, Medievalism and Modern Nationhood; 7. DCI Barnaby and an English Aesthetics of Crime; 8. Conclusion: Detecting the Nation; Bibliography; Index.

ISBN: 9781847063076
ISBN-10: 1847063071
Series: Continuum Literary Studies
Audience: BAC
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 20th January 2011
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.2  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.47
Edition Number: 1