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Neo-Victorian felony – Crime narratives in Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project and Ian McGuire’s The North Water



The neo-Victorian novel has been one of the most significant branches of contemporary British historical fiction for the past three decades. Thanks to works like A. S. Byatt’s Possession, Sarah Waters’ trilogy Tipping the Velvet, Affinity and Fingersmith and Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, the genre has gained not only considerable popularity among readers, but also almost a canonical literary status. Although recent neo-Victorian fiction has been trying to find some new ways in which the genre could avoid stereotypical narratives, it still retains its most determining idiosyncrasies. One of them is an interest in the undersides of Victorian society, including the themes of violence and criminality, which is why these novels often resort to the genre of crime and detective fiction. This is also the case of Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project (2015) and Ian McGuire’s The North Water (2016), both historical novels set in Victorian Britain which were, respectively, shortlisted and longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. This paper attempts to show the different manners in which these two novels employ various forms of crime narratives so as to achieve their goal of presenting convincing and seemingly authentic insights into the more obscure aspects of the Victorian era.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
2 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Cultural Studies, General Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, general, Literary Theory, Topics in Literary Studies, Other Topics