American Detective Fiction (6548 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

David C. Dougherty (Loyola University Maryland)
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The Origins of Modern Detective Fiction: The British Sleuth

Although the formula for modern detective fiction was invented by the eccentric American genius Edgar Allan Poe, the sub-genre came to its perfection in the work of English writers Wilkie Collins, A. Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers, and Agatha Christie. As several literary historians have observed, these stories had their roots in the development of science during the nineteenth century, with its elevation of observation and reason as defining, ideal human characteristics. Small wonder that Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet (1887) features Dr. Watson’s being introduced to an eccentric chemist named Sherlock Holmes; their …

Citation:
Dougherty, David C.. "American Detective Fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 April 2019
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19511, accessed 15 October 2019.]


Related Groups

  1. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction

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