Telling the Whole Truth: Wilkie Collins and the Lady Detective
It is, then, this ‘queer look’—a failure in binary judgement, a refusal to decide one way or the other — that makes this ‘the type’, the perfect case, with nothing to be taken from it or added.
I can still see the queer look of the ‘not proven’, seen for the first time, on the printed page of the newspaper. I stand again with it, on the summer afternoon — a boy of 14 — in the open window of the Rue Neuve Chaussée where I read it. Only I didn’t know then of its — the case’s perfect beauty and distinction. … And what a pity she was almost of the pre-photographic age — I would give so much for a veracious portrait of her then face. (Lubbock 1920, 386–7)
KeywordsArsenic Poisoning Suicide Note Suspended Judgement Binary Judgement Summer Afternoon
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- 6.See F. Tennyson Jesse (ed.), The Trial of Madeleine Smith (London: William Hodge and Co. Ltd, 1927). William Roughead himself edited other trials in the series, including that of Mary Blandy, about which James enthuses in another letter to Roughead: ‘I devoured the tender Blandy in a single feast’. James, Letters, ed. Leon Edel, Vol. IV (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984).Google Scholar