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

A look British detective fiction and its origins in the heart of the capital.

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 will explore 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 next year.


Esme Miskimmin | talks


Date and Time:

10 November 2009 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
020 7392 9200

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£7, conc. £5; advance booking required

Available from:

Call 020 7392 9220 between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday or search for Bishopsgate Institute on www.WeGotTickets.com

Additional Information:

Bishopsgate Institute is two minutes walk from Liverpool Street station.

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