Words at War: Fiction and Critique Forged in Times and Spaces of Violence

War occupies an uneasy place in literature and in the study of literature. Raymond Williams’s well-known observation about Jane Austen captures something of this dynamic: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen chose to ignore the decisive historical events of her time. Where […] are the Napoleonic wars: the real current of history?” (113). In posing this question, Williams makes war both central to, and beside the point of, the novel form. Today, the relationship between war and

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The Case of the Extraordinary Sidekick

“I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies” [1] Sherlock Holmes to Dr John Watson, ‘The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle’ Policing remains, today, a highly contested activity of the state.[2] It has professionalised—and bureaucratised—a great deal since its nineteenth-century inception, but it remains plagued by a fundamental anxiety that the police, not Lady Justice, are blind. This post explores the underlying mistrust of the professional police that flows from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories through to the

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Vicky Nagy, Video games, the Victorian Era and Sherlock Holmes

Although a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, Victoria M Nagy researched female criminality during the mid-nineteenth century in Essex for her PhD which she graduated with in 2012 from Monash University. She is currently an Honorary Associate with La Trobe University and is working on a new project focusing on female criminality in the colony of Victoria from 1860 to 1900. Her book Nineteenth-Century Female Poisoners: Three English Women Who Used Arsenic to Kill is now available from Palgrave MacMillan. Her

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Silhouette of Sherlock Holmes

How Sherlock Changed the World

Jennifer Pyke (Mount Holyoke College) December 17th PBS will air How Sherlock Changed the World, a documentary that positions Holmes and Conan Doyle as not only anticipating but in some cases creating the forensic science of today.  The two-hour show (which has also aired on National Geographic in the UK) showcases leading forensic investigators, giddy with their love of Holmes, explaining how processes and tests were based on the fictional lab on Baker Street and sharing how often Holmes is in their

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Are You a Believer Now?

Someone at the University of California, Davis was clearly taken with Steven Moffat’s second season of Sherlock.  So much so that they took to participating in the #ibelieveinsherlockholmes meme, which Jeanette Laredo wrote about here for JVC Online about a month ago and which has taken to actions of world-wide street graffiti, like the ones at UC Davis pictured below and recorded on this tumblr.  Now that the second season has aired in the United States as well as in

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I Believe in Sherlock Holmes: Sherlockian Fandom Then & Now

By Jeanette Laredo “You really do, don’t you?” Sherlock’s voice was quiet, not a whisper but more like he was talking to himself than to John, “Even after everything. You still… believe in me.” —from “I Believe in Sherlock Holmes,” a Sherlockian fanfic by Cennis I was on my way to a job talk, weaving through the crowd of students that poured out from the corridors leading to the lecture hall, when my eye caught a flash of that unmistakable

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