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From Monaco to Mycenae: Europe in the English Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Mills, R., 2023. From Monaco to Mycenae: Europe in the English Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Studies in Crime Writing. (In Press)

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Abstract

Since Alison Light’s chapter on Agatha Christie in Forever England (1991), scholars have used detective fiction as a lens to examine English place, identity and society. I present an alternative vantage point on the geography of English Golden Age detective fiction by considering England in terms of its relationship to Europe. Drawing on human geographer Yi-Fu Tuan’s notion of ‘mythical space’, I examine tourism and leisure travel on the French Riviera in Christie’s The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928) and Elizabeth Gill’s The Crime Coast (1931), and ritual journeys informed by Greek myth in Gladys Mitchell’s Come Away, Death (1937) and Christie’s short story collection The Labours of Hercules (1947), with reference to other detective fiction authors of the interwar period such as Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. Noting the persistent presence and proximity of Continental Europe in the imaginary of the English Golden Age, I argue that detectives Hercule Poirot and Mrs. Bradley employ their understanding of the specific cultural, psychological, and imaginative narratives of ancient and modern Europe to make not only crime but European myths and mythical space visible and intelligible, and emphasise their relevance to English world views and creativity.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:2578-4021
Uncontrolled Keywords:literature; crime fiction; interwar; literary geography
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:37831
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:28 Nov 2022 10:49
Last Modified:28 Nov 2022 11:02

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