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Situating The Beetle within the fin-de-siècle fiction of Gothic Egypt
Ailise Bulfin

7 •• ‘In that Egyptian den’: situating The Beetle within the fin-de-siècle fiction of Gothic Egypt Ailise Bulfin Among many events, literary and political, that took place in 1895 are two that may seem at first glance unrelated: Richard Marsh began writing his bestselling novel about a demonic Egyptian entity, The Beetle: A Mystery (1897), and General Herbert Kitchener launched his famous and ultimately successful campaign to quell Islamic-nationalist rebellion in Sudan. As this chapter argues, Marsh’s novel can be placed within a popular subgenre of Egyptian

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Abstract only
Victoria Margree, Daniel Orrells and Minna Vuohelainen

-hegemonic. Marsh’s novels, Höglund concludes, ‘often interrogate and implode the pervading discourses of the time’ so that ‘dissonant voices’ are foregrounded in the ‘discursive discord’ of his fiction.4 A study of his work thus has the potential to challenge scholarly interpretations of the period’s dominant ideologies and politics. This volume therefore seeks to question the security of our assumptions about the fin de siècle through an exploration of Marsh’s fiction; to understand who Marsh was; and to examine what his success tells us about the culture of a turn

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Detection, deviance and disability in Richard Marsh’s Judith Lee stories
Minna Vuohelainen

her unusual even in the congested market for detective fiction; as the editor of the Strand explained, Lee’s ‘new detective method’, the ‘fortunate … gift of reading words as they issue from people’s lips’, was sure to earn ‘her a place apart in fiction’.7 In some respects, her representation confirms the accepted gender politics of the female detective genre: not only is she not a professional ­investigator – ‘I have very seldom set out’, she tells us, ‘from the very beginning, with the deliberate intention of conducting an investigation’ – but she frequently acts

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Diamonds and curious collectables in the fin-de-siècle fiction of Richard Marsh
Jessica Allsop

Siege of Khartoum, the so-called scramble for Africa, the undermining of Britain’s steel manufacturing superiority by German and American competition, and the decline of the Royal Navy relative to the navies of France, Germany, Russia, and Italy’.9 The 1870s and 1880s were decades troubled by ‘economic depression’ and a ‘growing sense of u ­ ncertainty’ regarding the nation’s ‘social, political, and economic future’.10 In response to this crisis, the British government projected a vision of ‘the British empire as a self-interested, global network of territories

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Daniel Orrells

[ound] themselves on the market at very low prices’.2 This fuelled ‘the heyday of collecting’, as an affluent British aristocracy took advantage of an unsettled political and economic situation.3 Even as aristocratic collections were being embellished with ‘Titians, Raphaels, Correggios, Rubenses and Guidos [that] joined the odd family portrait or hunting scene’, the power and influence of the landed elite were being undermined by an ascendant middle class of industrialists and merchants who were developing novel interests in contemporary art, the decorative and applied arts, and

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
‘Transformational objects’ and the Gothic fiction of Richard Marsh
Graeme Pedlingham

ridiculous figure I must be cutting.’11 At this early stage in the narrative, Holt has been imprisoned, verbally humiliated, denuded, implicitly subjected to sexual assault, mesmerised, and is now ‘remotecontrolled’ by the Beetle-creature into committing an act of burglary upon ‘the greatest living force in practical politics’, Paul Lessingham MP 172 ‘Transformational objects’ and the Gothic fiction of Marsh (p. 30).12 Disturbingly, Holt finds himself precisely among ‘things’ that are ‘other’. Indeed, following the Beetle-creature’s traumatic objectification of him and

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
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Richard Marsh and late Victorian journalism
Nick Freeman

of which were the abolition of advertisement duty (1853), newspaper stamp duty (1855) and paper duty (1861). The impact of this legislation was far-reaching, particularly for the so-called ‘penny press’. Serious reviews such as the Edinburgh or the Nineteenth Century appealed to an educated readership with sufficient money and time to digest their contents; their circulation was founded upon long-standing intellectual (and political) communalities rather than a reasonable cover price. The same could not be said of less august journals, and visionary entrepreneurs

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
The Datchet Diamonds
Victoria Margree

’s Raffles, in that he is precisely not an exceptional individual; not fundamentally dishonest, and being without any criminal genius, he is instead an everyman figure, whose very ordinariness testifies to the potential appeal of criminality to a non-criminal public. The Marsh novels in which this kind of transgressor appears usually close with their protagonists’ return to the straight and narrow, and while to this extent they work ultimately to affirm dominant morality, they are politically significant in the ways in which they testify to the social and economic

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
Populism, New Humour and the male clerk in Marsh’s Sam Briggs adventures
Mackenzie Bartlett

challenges the notion of class stagnation. His unremarkable background and diminutive stature also make him a potent symbol of the instinctual heroism of every British soldier. Sam begins his adventures as a quintessentially lower-middle-class Englishman, and yet he also inhabits a space that illustrates the upheaval in the social fabric of Edwardian Britain. His job as a clerk reflects the shifting economic, social and political landscape of early twentieth-century Britain, while his later occupation as a soldier emphasises the patriarchy and jingoism that characterised

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915