Edited by Dr Lucyna Krawczyk-Żywko (University of Warsaw, Poland), this collection aims to redress the imbalance in criticism on nineteenth-century real and fictional detectives, which tends to focus on Arthur Conan Doyle’s character of Sherlock Holmes at the centre of interest, whilst other fictional detectives somewhat revolve around him as a contemporary backdrop.
It gives much stronger critical focus to contemporary rewritings of Victorian detectives, who have received much less scholarly attention, such as Charles Dickens’s Inspector Bucket from Bleak House (1853) or Wilkie Collins’s Sergeant Cuff from The Moonstone, as well as looking at characters who occupy other professions yet perform the functions of a detective in fiction, such as psychiatrists. This aims to bring perhaps lesser or forgotten characters back to the forefront in terms of understanding their contribution to Victorian literary culture, and their importance in the development of the detective genre.
This shift in focus away from Sherlock Holmes has also allowed a stronger foundation for exploration into how Victorian detectives are utilised in contemporary adaptations and recreations today, including in TV, film and literature.
Victorian Detectives in Contemporary Culture: Beyond Sherlock Holmes is published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.