The urban detective has traditionally been a figure supremely able to penetrate the mysteries of the city, yet set apart from the populace he protects. Have recent London crime stories abandoned their confidence in the interpretative abilities of the detective? Can we still believe in omniscient figures such as Dickens’ Inspector Bucket or Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes? Is London still a place where mysteries can be satisfactorily solved? This talk will explore the changing role and persona of the London detective, and look at novels where the detecting is done by some unlikely figures, including female pharmacists (Janet Stevenson's London Bridges) or children (Siobhan Dowd's The London Eye Adventure).
This lecture is part of the "Literary London Crime" Mondays at One Series.
The other lectures in the series include the following:
Crime in Dickens' London
The Dark Eyes of London
"A Stout Heart in the Great Cesspool": Arthur Conan Doyle and London
Jenny Bavidge is University Lecturer in English Literature and Academic Director in English Literature for the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge. She is Vice-President of the Literary London Society and has published on contemporary fiction, children’s literature, and London rats.