Ngaio Marsh: The Woman and Her Work

Overview

In 1934, Ngaio Marsh's first novel, A Man Lay Dead, was published to critical acclaim. For the next fifty years, Marsh wrote more than 30 English detective novels, while simultaneously building a reputation as a distinguished director of Shakespearean theatre. She received the Crime Writers Association's Red Herrings Award in 1955 and was made a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1978. In 1948 Marsh was awarded an Office of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature and the ...

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Overview

In 1934, Ngaio Marsh's first novel, A Man Lay Dead, was published to critical acclaim. For the next fifty years, Marsh wrote more than 30 English detective novels, while simultaneously building a reputation as a distinguished director of Shakespearean theatre. She received the Crime Writers Association's Red Herrings Award in 1955 and was made a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1978. In 1948 Marsh was awarded an Office of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature and the theatre, and in 1967, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). As a New Zealander, Marsh was the only colonial writer to be ranked with Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham as one of the grande dames of the Golden Age. Ngaio Marsh: The Woman and Her Work is a collection of essays celebrating this multifaceted talent_painter, playwright, director and detective novelist. Originally created to celebrate the centenary of Marsh's birth, this comprehensive profile addresses various aspects of this remarkable woman's personality, life, and work. Her official biographer, Margaret Lewis, her cousin John Dacres-Mannings, and two fellow Detection Club members_H.R.F. Keating and Julian Symons_pay tribute to Marsh as a person and a colleague. Marsh's career in the theatre is traced by Paul R. Bushnell, and its influence on her detective writing is assessed by Marilyn Rye and Catherine Aird. Her contribution as a novelist of manners is addressed by Alzina Stone Dale, Kathryne S. McDorman, B.A. Pike, and Susan Oleksiw, while her accomplishments in short fiction are discussed by Douglas G. Greene and Bruce Harding. In addition to the thirteen essays, this volume contains a chronology of Marsh's plays, as well as a bibliography of her novels and short stories. Nominated for both an Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction and an Anthony Award for Best Critical Work, this book is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman who captured international acclaim in literature and the arts.

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Editorial Reviews

Crime and Detective Stories
It succeeded in making me more interested in her and made me think that perhaps I should read more of her books.
Mostly Murder
A fascinating look at an extraordinary woman.
Crime And Detective Stories
It succeeded in making me more interested in her and made me think that perhaps I should read more of her books..
Mostly Murder
A fascinating look at an extraordinary woman..
Booknews
A collection of 13 essays celebrating the multifaceted talent of Ngaio Marsh--painter, director, and detective novelist--on the centenary of her birth, 23 April 1995. From 1932 to 1982, Marsh wrote 32 classic English detective novels while simultaneously directing Shakespearean theater productions. Includes eight pages of b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810830233
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

B. J. Rahn teaches English literature at Hunter College in New York. She has been teaching, researching, and writing about crime fiction for over two decades. She has published articles in journals and reference books such as The Armchair Detective, St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writing, Scribner's Mystery & Suspense Writers: The Literature of Crime, Detection, and Espionage, The Dictionary of Literary Biography and the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing. Professor Rahn is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Crime Writers Association in the UK, as well as the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, the Dorothy L. Sayers Society, and the Margery Allingham Society.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
To Ngaio, from her biographer, with affection and respect... 1
Thoughts on the Life of a Marvelous Woman 23
Outsold and Outsmarted, But... 33
Random Recollections 37
Ngaio Marsh: A Theatrical Avocation 43
Criminal Performances: The Spectacle of Crime in Ngaio Marsh's Detective Fiction 75
Ode on a Favorite Novel - Drowned in a Sea of Memory 97
Ngaio Marsh's London 109
Roderick Alleyn and the New Professionals 121
The Mannered Mystery: Death of a Peer 143
Judgment and Justice in Ngaio Marsh's Death and the Dancing Footman 161
Marsh's Miniatures: An Examination of Ngaio Marsh's Short Mystery Stories 187
"The Great and True Amphibian": The New Zealand/England Polarity in the Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh 201
App. A Chronology of Plays Directed 233
App. A Bibliography of Detective Novels 241
App. A Bibliography of Short Mystery Stories 245
Notes on Contributors 247
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