• Henley DFAS

Discovering London through Detective Fiction: From Sherlock Holmes and his Contemporaries to Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers

Discovering London through Detective Fiction: From Sherlock Holmes and his Contemporaries to Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers
Tuesday 5th April 2022 (Booking Thursday 17 February)
Richard Burnip
 
This Special Interest Day describes the development of popular detective fiction from the 1880s to the 1950s. In a late Victorian arena dominated by one iconic figure in a deerstalker, there were dozens of other contenders from the title of ‘The Great Detective’ in the pages of popular monthly magazines.  
 
(Please click on the blue print above to continue reading)
 
From Arthur Morrison’s painstaking sleuth Martin Hewitt to Baroness Orczy’s devious Old Man in the Corner, the richly diverse gallery of inspired creations is given centre stage here, along with anti-heroes such as the gentleman burglar Raffles, that master of disguise Colonel Clay, the inspired confidence trickster Romney Pringle and Mrs Meade’s remarkable creation, the terrifying Madame Sara.  These intriguing characters succeeded in breaking free from the shadow of Sherlock, and here they are given their proper due.
 
The two great Queens of Crime brought the metropolis to life in the 1920s and 30s.  We examine how Hercule Poirot and Lord Peter Wimsey found a home there. Both authors chronicled the rapidly changing London of the 1920s and ‘30s, writing in the same genre but in radically different ways. They also had very particular views on where their characters should live and work, revealing in itself.  Although Sayers gave up detective fiction, in Christie’s case, far from remaining fixed in one period throughout her long career, she charted the changes she witnessed, with her customary skill and insight, in later works such as Endless Night and At Bertram’s Hotel.
 
Richard Burnip took a BA Hons in English Language and Literature from the University of Manchester, followed by an acting diploma at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama. He combines acting, writing and lecturing. He has lectured in many venues including the National Army Museum and the Museum of London and is currently also presenting a variety of virtual lectures online.
 
Richard has contributed to, among others, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, and the P G Wodehouse journal Wooster Sauce. A specialist in voice work, he has narrated numerous documentaries and 150 audiobooks.