Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science

Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science

by Ronald R. Thomas
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521527627

ISBN-13: 9780521527620

Pub. Date: 02/01/2004

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This is the first 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…  See more details below

Overview

This is the first 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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521527620
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2004
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture Series, #26
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
361
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
1The devices of truth1
2The lie detector and the thinking machine21
3The unequal voice in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"40
4The letter of the law in The Woman in White57
5The criminal type in "A Case of Identity"75
6The voice of America in Red Harvest91
7The mug shot and the magnifying glass111
8Photographic memories in Bleak House131
9Double exposures in The House of the Seven Gables150
10Negative images in "A Scandal in Bohemia"167
11Empty cameras in The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely181
12The fingerprint and the map of crime201
13Foreign bodies in A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four220
14Accusing hands in Pudd'nhead Wilson240
15International plots in The Maltese Falcon and Murk on the Orient Express257
16Missing persons and secret agents276
Notes291
Selected works for further reading323
Index335

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >