Medieval Crime Fiction
A Critical Overview
About the Book
Combining elements of medievalism, the historical novel and the detective narrative, medieval crime fiction capitalizes upon the appeal of all three—the most famous examples being Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (one of the best-selling books ever published) and Ellis Peters’ endearing Brother Cadfael series.
Hundreds of other novels and series fill out the genre, in settings ranging from the so-called Celtic Enlightenment in seventh-century Ireland to the ruthless Inquisition in fourteenth-century France to the mean streets of medieval London. The detectives are an eclectic group, including weary ex-crusaders, former Knights Templar, enterprising monks and nuns, and historical poets such as Geoffrey Chaucer.
This book investigates the enduring popularity of the largely unexamined genre and explores its social, cultural and political contexts.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
Table of Contents
One. Genres and Origins 13
Two. Soiled Knights and Medieval Mean Streets 44
Three. Divine Ratiocination 89
Four. An Unsuitable Job for a Medieval Woman 120
Five. “There are no Jews in England” 167
Six. Poet or PI? 195
Appendix: Authors, with Characters and Settings 241
Chapter Notes 245
Works Cited 250