Social Subversion and Monarchic Mistrust: The Use of Mesmerism in The Notting Hill Mystery
Sam Saunders is an MRes student at Liverpool John Moores University, studying female characters and their various depictions in archetypal character-roles in Victorian detective fiction. He completed his undergraduate degree at Bangor University, where his third year dissertation explored the evolution of the use of medievalism as social commentary in literature over the nineteenth and twentieth century. His general research interests lie in nineteenth century-crime, detective and sensation fiction, the Victorian novel and print culture.
The Notting Hill Mystery, called ‘the first detective novel’ and authored by the pseudonymous Charles Felix, was originally published between 1862 and 1863 as an eight-part serial in the magazine Once a Week.  It remains relatively obscure in the face of more recognisable crime-fiction works, such as those by Wilkie Collins and (later) Arthur Conan Doyle, however, due to recent republication from The British Library, awareness of its importance as a precursor to the…
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