Sarah Waters, Fingersmith

Louisa Yates (University of Chester)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

In 2002, Sarah Waters expressed the sadness she had felt at putting Margaret Prior, protagonist of


and victim of a terrible deception, “through the mill” (Q&A session,

Guardian Online

). Fittingly, then, her next novel,


, detailed the guilt and sorrow of two women who intentionally swindle one another. It is told in three parts, in a loose reference to the Victorian triple-decker novel, and the first-person narrative voice switches from the first woman to the second, and back again. The reader is privy only to that which is revealed by the narrative voice, for there is no omniscient narrator. The novel's technique of maintaining secrecy and revelation through the switching of narrative position has led some reviewers to compare it to Wilkie Collins'

The Woman in

1983 words

Citation: Yates, Louisa. "Fingersmith". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 January 2008 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

23070 Fingersmith 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.