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Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science : Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture - Ronald R. Thomas

Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science

Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture

Hardcover

Published: 13th February 2000
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This is a book about the relationship between the development of forensic science in the nineteenth century and the invention of the new literary genre of detective fiction in Britain and America. Ronald R. Thomas examines the criminal body as a site of interpretation and enforcement in a wide range of fictional examples, from Poe, Dickens and Hawthorne through Twain and Conan Doyle to Hammett, Chandler and Christie. He is especially concerned with the authority the literary detective manages to secure through the 'devices' - fingerprinting, photography, lie detectors - with which he discovers the truth and establishes his expertise, and the way in which those devices relate to broader questions of cultural authority at decisive moments in the history of the genre. This is an interdisciplinary project, framing readings of literary texts with an analysis of contemporaneous developments in criminology, the rules of evidence, and modern scientific accounts of identity.

'This is a persuasive, original and stimulating work ...' Times Literary Supplement 'Generously illustrated ... and lucidly written, it is a forceful and persuasive analysis of the creative dialogue between forensic science, criminology, and detective fiction.' English 'Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science is a major achievement.' Semiotica

List of illustrationsp. xiii
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
The devices of truthp. 1
Tell-Tale Hearts
The lie detector and the thinking machinep. 21
The unequal voice in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"p. 40
The letter of the law in The Woman in Whitep. 57
The criminal type in "A Case of Identity"p. 75
The voice of America in Red Harvestp. 91
Arresting Images
The mug shot and the magnifying glassp. 111
Photographic memories in Bleak Housep. 131
Double exposures in The House of the Seven Gablesp. 150
Negative images in "A Scandal in Bohemia"p. 167
Empty cameras in The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovelyp. 181
Identifying Marks
The fingerprint and the map of crimep. 201
Foreign bodies in A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Fourp. 220
Accusing hands in Pudd'nhead Wilsonp. 240
International plots in The Maltese Falcon and Murder on the Orient Expressp. 257
Missing persons and secret agentsp. 276
Notesp. 291
Selected works for further readingp. 323
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521653039
ISBN-10: 0521653037
Series: Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 362
Published: 13th February 2000
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.7