Narratives of Enclosure in Detective Fiction: The Locked by Michael Cook (auth.) PDF

By Michael Cook (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230313736

ISBN-13: 9780230313736

ISBN-10: 1175380938

ISBN-13: 9781175380937

ISBN-10: 1349325317

ISBN-13: 9781349325313

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Extra info for Narratives of Enclosure in Detective Fiction: The Locked Room Mystery

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Dickens’s seminal contribution to ‘Mugby Junction’, was ‘The Signalman’, a ghostly tale which chronicles the catastrophic consequences of psychological disturbance. Amelia Edwards’s ‘The Four-Fifteen Express’ (1866), like ‘The Signalman’ a ghost story, was originally intended for inclusion in ‘Mugby Junction’ but far exceeded the prescribed length and eventually found its way into the rival Routledge’s Christmas Annual of the same year. It concerns the spooky encounter with a murdered official in a railway compartment and offers an enticing view from within the enclosed chamber.

In this reading the narrative that the story presents is the working out of Langford’s role as detective through the medium of his psyche. The mysterious appearance of Dwerrihouse is a temporal displacement of the normally sequential narrative associated with the detective story. Indeed, after the fracturing brought about by this meeting the remainder of the story follows a conventional pattern, so the narrative purpose of this encounter would seem to be a means by which the mystery of Dwerrihouse’s death is explained.

Peter Haining has observed: ‘Within the closed doors of the carriages, as the miles pass by and the scenery constantly changes, there exists another even more important element: the other passengers. Who are they? What are their intentions? ’55 In Amelia Edwards’s ‘The Four-fifteen Express’ the train compartment becomes a paradigm for the confinement created by so much of the enclosed railway landscape. The story concerns William Langford who returns to England after a spell abroad and immediately catches a train to East Anglia so that he can spend Christmas with his old friend Jonathan Jelf.

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Narratives of Enclosure in Detective Fiction: The Locked Room Mystery by Michael Cook (auth.)


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