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Introduction

  • Danny Laurie-Fletcher
Chapter

Abstract

This book examines the British invasion/spy literature between 1871 and 1918, a relatively new form of literature, to further the understanding of the politics behind the creation of this literature and, to a degree, contemporary attitudes towards class, race, empire, the concept of the gentleman, women in relation to war work and sexual relations, as part of the social, cultural, and political responses before and during World War I. This form of literature belonged to the thriller genre, a description given to stories that focused on thrilling the reader and which were often cheaply produced in paperback with a target audience, although not exclusively, a male readership. In Britain, these stories took shape as a cultural response to events and movements outside and within, particularly challenges from Irish nationalism, the Boer War (1899–1902), the creation of the German Empire (1871), rival powers’ naval expansion, and increased trade tensions. Some of the political responses were the creations of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch (MPSB), the secret service that developed into the Secret Service Bureau known as MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) known as MI6, and the passing of the Official Secret Services Acts of 1889 and 1911.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danny Laurie-Fletcher
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Humanities, Arts and Social SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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