The University of Wisconsin Press

Popular Culture


Twelve Englishmen of Mystery
Edited by Earl F. Bargainnier

Popular Culture

There are hundreds of satisfactory and satisfying British writers whose works should be studied both for their own individual accomplishments and for their comments on the society in which they were published, in the last 150 years, but who have not received any critical comment lately.

This volume is designed to correct that fault in a dozen of these unjustifiably neglected British authors: Wilkie Collins, A.E.W. Mason, G.K. Chesterson, H.C. Bailey, Anthony Berkeley Cox, Nicholas Blake, Michael Gilbert, Julian Symons, Dick Francis, Edmund Crispin, H.R.F. Keating, and Simon Brett.

Though all these authors differ somewhat in approach and subject matter, all string their plots together in the device of the comic. The vast majority of British detective fiction is comic in the broadest sense of the word. Readers of this volume will find useful and insightful comments on detective fiction's relation to—and use of—such forms of the comic as farce, wit, satire, romantic comedy, and tragi-comedy.

Earl F. Bargainnier was Fuller E. Callaway Professor of English Language and Literature at Wesleyan College. A former president of the Popular Culture Association, he was the author of more than sixty articles and The Gentle Art of Murder: The Detective Fiction of Agatha Christie. He also edited Ten Women of Mystery and co-edited Cops and Constables. Professor Bargainnier died January 3, 1987.

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Book cover background is the England flag with a purple jacket and black top hat in front of the flag image.

LC: 83-072499 PR
332 pp. 6 x 9
11 b/w photos, 1 b/w illus.
ISBN 978-0-87972-249-4
Cloth $23.95 t
ISBN 978-0-87972-250-0
Paper $12.95 t

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Updated February 10, 2010

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