Detective Fiction (2012 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Chris Willis
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Contrary to popular myth, detective fiction did not begin with Sherlock Holmes. The roots of this highly popular genre can be traced back to biblical times. In her masterly introduction to the 1928 anthology Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror, Dorothy L. Sayers cites early examples of detection in the Bible and Aesop’s fables. The eponymous hero of the Biblical Book of Daniel exposes a religious fraud by tracking the culprits’ footprints, and in the tale of Susanna and the Elders, he uncovers a conspiracy by questioning two witnesses separately to reveal contradictions in their evidence. Aesop’s fox decides not to enter a hungry lion’s cave when he sees that there are many animal footprints going into …

We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.

Citation:
Willis, Chris. "Detective Fiction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=267, accessed 23 September 2017.]


Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres
  2. Literary Genres and Modes
  3. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.