Women Writing Crime Fiction, 1860–1880

Fourteen American, British and Australian Authors

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About the Book

Arthur Conan Doyle has long been considered the greatest writer of crime fiction, and the gender bias of the genre has foregrounded William Godwin, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Émile Gaboriau and Fergus Hume. But earlier and significant contributions were being made by women in Britain, the United States and Australia between 1860 and 1880, a period that was central to the development of the genre.
This work focuses on women writers of this genre and these years, including Catherine Crowe, Caroline Clive, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Louisa May Alcott, Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, Anna Katharine Green, Céleste de Chabrillan, “Oliné Keese” (Caroline Woolmer Leakey), Eliza Winstanley, Ellen Davitt, and Mary Helena Fortune—innovators who set a high standard for women writers to follow.

About the Author(s)

Kate Watson writes about women’s writing, the nineteenth century, gender, and crime fiction. She lives in the United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Kate Watson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6782-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9117-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii
Preface      1
Introduction: Transformation, Transmission and Transportation      3

CHAPTER ONE: BRITAIN
Introduction      15
Catherine Crowe (1790–1872)      20
Caroline Clive (1810–1873)      22
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1801–1865)      38
Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835–1915)      43
Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood (1814–1887)      59
COLONIAL CONNECTIONS      64

CHAPTER TWO: UNITED STATES
Introduction      68
Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835–1921)      79
Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888)      85
Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (1831–1885)      99
Anna Katharine Green (1846–1935)      118

CHAPTER THREE: AUSTRALIA
Introduction      132
Céleste de Chabrillan (1824–1909)      151
Caroline Woolmer Leakey (Oliné Keese) (1827–1881)      153
Eliza Winstanley (1818–1882)      157
Ellen Davitt (c. 1812–1879)      158
Mary Helena Fortune (c. 1833–c. 1909/10)      172

Chapter Notes      191
Bibliography      222
Index      245

Book Reviews & Awards

“Watson’s work is well organized and compellingly argued…an important contribution to the field”—Modern Language Review.