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Bishopsgate Institute Podcast: 'Investigating the City: London in Detective Fiction from the Victorian Era to the Golden Age'

Uploaded 08/02/2012

British detective fiction has its origins in the heart of the capital. In the stories about Sherlock Holmes, Thorndike and Dorcas Dene, London is central to the narrative and geographically and culturally intrinsic to its development. With the advent of the ‘Golden Age’ however, and the stories of Sayers, Christie, Allingham and Marsh, the role of London changes and becomes a more nebulous, transient environment, a counter-space to the country houses and villages that are the characteristic milieu of the detective stories of this time. This talk explores the different ways that London is represented as British Detective fiction develops, through the era of Sherlock Holmes to that of Lord Peter Wimsey. Dr Esme Miskimmin is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool, where her main research interest is in crime fiction, specifically the work of Dorothy L. Sayers. She is the co-editor of two volumes in the Palgrave ‘Crime Files’ Series: 100 American Crime Writers and 100 British Crime Writers, due out in 2010.

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