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p. 11. Originslocked

  • Richard Bradford


What are the true origins of modern crime fiction? ‘Origins’ explains that the sources can be found in 18th-century England with the fiction and criminal biographies of Daniel Defoe and Henry Fielding, who both had direct experience of criminality, the judicial system, and the punishments for the convicted—all topics of great public interest. Following the period of the 19th-century Newgate novels, the history of crime writing is dominated by three authors: Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle. The Russian critic Tzvetan Todorov’s essay ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’ provided a decisive account of how the genre works and of what differentiates it from other forms of novel writing.

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