Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-zxw8g Total loading time: 0.236 Render date: 2023-02-01T22:03:29.618Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

TROUBLE WITH SHE-DICKS: PRIVATE EYES AND PUBLIC WOMEN IN THE ADVENTURES OF LOVEDAY BROOKE, LADY DETECTIVE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 April 2005

Elizabeth Carolyn Miller
Affiliation:
University of Michigan

Extract

C. L. (CATHERINE LOUISA) PIRKIS'S “The Murder at Troyte's Hill,” second in her series of stories about Detective Loveday Brooke, begins with Brooke's boss debriefing her on a case: “Griffiths, of the Newcastle Constabulary, has the case in hand…. Those Newcastle men are keen-witted, shrewd fellows, and very jealous of outside interference. They only sent to me under protest, as it were, because they wanted your sharp wits at work inside the house” (528). This is a typical beginning for one of Brooke's adventures, which were published in the London magazine Ludgate Monthly in 1893 and 1894. As one of the earliest professional female detectives in English literary history, Brooke's career was marked by conflicts with territorial male officers and the ever-present pressure to keep her detective work “inside the house.” Emerging at a historical moment when understandings of women, criminality, and law enforcement were rapidly changing in Britain, Pirkis's stories offer an interpretation of these intersecting cultural shifts that is surprisingly different from her contemporaries. In a decade rife with scientific interrogation into the nature of criminality, such as in the work of Havelock Ellis and Francis Galton, detective fiction of the 1890s tended to mimic scientific discourse in its representations of criminals. The Brooke stories, however, challenge such conceptions of deviance and reveal the poverty of their underlying understandings of crime as well as gender.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Arata Stephen. 1996. Fictions of Loss in the Victorian Fin de Siècle. Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Bracebridge Hemyng. 1985Prostitution in London.” London Labour and the London Poor. Vol. 4. 1861–1862. Ed. Victor Neuberg. New York: Penguin, 47391.
Brake Laurel. 1994. Subjugated Knowledges: Journalism, Gender, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century. London: Macmillan
Collins Wilkie. 1998. The Law and the Lady. 1875. London: Penguin
Collins Wilkie. 1986. The Moonstone. 1868. London: Penguin
Cox Michael, ed. 1992. Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection: An Oxford Anthology. Oxford: Oxford UP
Craig Patricia, and Mary Cadogan. 1981. The Lady Investigates: Women Detectives and Spies in Fiction. London: Victor Gollancy
Dalby Richard. Introduction. “The Black Bag Left on a Door-Step.” By C. L. Pirkis. 1993. Crime for Christmas. Ed. Dalby. New York: St. Martin's 215.
Dickens Charles. 1996. Bleak House. 1853. London: Penguin
Ellis Havelock. 1890. The Criminal. London: Walter Scott
Gissing George. 1998. The Odd Women. 1893. Ed. Arlene Young. Peterborough, ON: Broadview
Greene Douglas G. 1998Introduction.” The Detections of Miss Cusack. 1899–1901. By L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace. Ed. Greene and Jack Adrian. Shelburne, ON: Battered Silicon Dispatch Box viixiii.
Greene Hugh. 1973. The Crooked Counties: Further Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. London: Bodley Head
Introduction.” Ludgate Monthly 1 (May, 1891): 2.
Irons,Glenwood, ed. 1995. Feminism in Women's Detective Fiction. Toronto: U of Toronto P
James,Henry. 1987. The Princess Casamassima. 1886. Ed. Derek Brewer. London: Penguin
Klein Kathleen Gregory. “Habeas Corpus: Feminism and Detective Fiction.” Irons 171189.
Klein Kathleen Gregory. 1988. The Woman Detective: Gender and Genre. Urbana: U of Illinois P
Law Graham. 2000 Serializing Fiction in the Victorian Press. New York: Palgrave
Lombroso Cesare and William Ferrero. 1895. The Female Offender. London: T. Fisher Unwin
May Philip. “Philip May Returns Thanks and Introduces The Ludgate Weekly Magazine.” Ludgate Monthly 2 (March, 1892): 320.
Mayhew Henry. 1985. London Labour and the London Poor. 1861–1862. Ed. Victor Neuberg. London: Penguin
McClintock Anne. 1995. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest. New York: Routledge
Munt Sally. 1988The Inverstigators: Lesbian Crime Fiction.” Sweet Dreams: Sexuality, Gender, and Popular Fiction. Ed. Susannah Radstone. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 91119.
Orczy Baroness Emma. 1910. Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. London: Cassell
Parsons Deborah L. 2000. Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City, and Modernity. Oxford: Oxford UP
Pennell Jane C.The Female Detective: Pre- and Post-Women's Lib.” Clues 6.2 (fall-winter, 1985): 8598.
Pirkis C. L.The Black Bag Left on a Door-Step.” Ludgate Monthly 4 (February, 1893): 40114.
Pirkis C. L. 1893Drawn Daggers.” Ludgate Monthly 5 (June): 13144.Google Scholar
Pirkis C. L. 1893The Ghost of Fountain Lane.” Ludgate Monthly 5 (July): 23547.Google Scholar
Pirkis C. L. 1894Missing!” Ludgate Monthly 6 (February): 35672.Google Scholar
Pirkis C. L. 1893The Murder at Troyte's Hill.” Ludgate Monthly 4 (March): 52843.Google Scholar
Pirkis C. L. 1893A Princess's Vengeance.” Ludgate Monthly 5 (May): 416.Google Scholar
Pirkis C. L. 1893The Redhill Sisterhood.” Ludgate Monthly 4 (April): 58195.Google Scholar
Poovey Mary. 1988. Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England. Chicago: U of Chicago P
Riddle John M. 1997. Eve's Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West. Cambridge: Harvard UP
Rook Clarence. 1978The Stir Outside the Café Royal: A Story of Miss Van Snoop, Detective.” Harmsworth Magazine (September, 1898). Rpt. in Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Ed. Alan K. Russell. Secaucus, NJ: Castle Books, 22126.
Sims George R. 1897. Dorcas Dene, Detective: Her Adventures. London: F. V. White
Slung Michele, ed. and intro. 1975. Crime on Her Mind: Fifteen Stories of Female Sleuths from the Victorian Era to the Forties. New York: Pantheon
Slung Michele, ed. and intro. 1986. Introduction. The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective. 1894. By Catherine Louisa Pirkis. Ed. Slung. New York: Dover viixiv.
Stocking George. 1987. Victorian Anthropology. New York: Free Press
Thomas Ronald R. 1999. Detective Fiction and the Rise of Forensic Science. Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Thomas Ronald R. 1994The Fingerprint of the Foreigner: Colonizing the Criminal Body in 1890s Detective Fiction and Criminal Anthropology.” ELH 61.3 (Fall): 65583.Google Scholar
Walkowitz Judith. 1992. City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London. Chicago: U of Chicago P
Walkowitz Judith. 1980. Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class, and the State. Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Weedon Alexis. 1996Watch This Space: Wilkie Collins and New Strategies in Victorian Publishing in the 1890s.” Victorian Identities: Social and Cultural Formations in Nineteenth-Century Literature. Ed. Ruth Robbins and Julian Wolfreys. New York: St. Martin's, 16383.
Weiner Martin J. 1990. Reconstructing the Criminal: Culture, Law, and Policy in England, 1830–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Wilson Ann. “The Female Dick and the Crisis of Heterosexuality.” Irons 14856.
Zedner Lucia. 1991. Women, Crime, and Custody in Victorian England. Oxford: Clarendon
5
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

TROUBLE WITH SHE-DICKS: PRIVATE EYES AND PUBLIC WOMEN IN THE ADVENTURES OF LOVEDAY BROOKE, LADY DETECTIVE
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

TROUBLE WITH SHE-DICKS: PRIVATE EYES AND PUBLIC WOMEN IN THE ADVENTURES OF LOVEDAY BROOKE, LADY DETECTIVE
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

TROUBLE WITH SHE-DICKS: PRIVATE EYES AND PUBLIC WOMEN IN THE ADVENTURES OF LOVEDAY BROOKE, LADY DETECTIVE
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *