Victims or Villains: Jewish Images in Classic English Detective Fiction

Synopsis

Portrayed as dubious moneylenders, underworld operatives, megalomaniacs, Bolshevik saboteurs, or unscrupulous war-profiteers, Jewish characters have surfaced in English detective fiction from the very beginning. Starting with Conan Doyle, and focusing on the Golden Age of the genre, Tunrbull uses multiple examples to trace the evolution of Jewish caricature in British crime writing, and examines fictional representations of Jews in relation to burgeoning antisemitic sentiment within British society. Attention is paid to crime writers as wide-ranging as Baroness Orczy, Sydney Horler, R. Austin Freeman, Ngaio Marsh, and S. T. Haymon, and the depiction of Jews by Golden Age giants Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, and Anthony Berkeley Cox.