© 2007

A Counter-History of Crime Fiction

Supernatural, Gothic, Sensational

  • Authors

Part of the Crime Files Series book series (CF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Revising the Canon of Crime and Detection

    1. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 1-13
  3. Supernatural and Gothic

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 17-40
    3. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 41-54
    4. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 55-65
    5. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 66-90
  4. Sensational

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 91-91
    2. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 93-109
    3. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 110-132
    4. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 133-144
    5. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 145-155
    6. Maurizio Ascari
      Pages 156-174
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 175-222

About this book


This book takes a look at the evolution of crime fiction. Considering 'criminography' as a system of inter-related sub-genres, it explores the connections between modes of literature such as revenge tragedies, the gothic and anarchist fiction, while taking into account the influence of pseudo-sciences such as mesmerism and criminal anthropology.


fiction rhetoric Victorian era

About the authors

MAURIZIO ASCARI is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bologna, Italy. His publications include books and essays on crime fiction, anarchist fiction, the formation of the literary canon and travel writing.

Bibliographic information


Shortlisted for Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards 2008 (Category: Best Critical/Biographical)

'Maurizio Ascari's book is a thrilling journey through the supernaturally dark side of crime fiction. It excavates material that critics have not previously considered in the context of classic crime writing and also explores innovatively the role of the super-rational in the development and meaning of the genre. The book thoroughly justifies its challenging title as a Counter-History of Crime Fiction.' - Stephen Knight, Distinguished Research Professor in English Literature, University of Cardiff, UK

'...a well-written, insightful and important piece of criticism.' - Kim Toft Hansen, Kulturekapellet

'...[an] interestingly transnational approach to crime fiction...elegant language...captivating writing style...critically groundbreaking...' Rivista di Studi Vittoriani