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Crime Scenes

Modern Crime Fiction in an International Context

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Edited By Urszula Elias and Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish

Crime Scenes: Modern Crime Fiction in an International Context examines the ways in which crime fiction has developed over several decades and in several national literary traditions. The volume covers a wide spectrum of current interests and topical concerns in the field of crime fiction studies. It introduces twenty-four original essays by an international group of scholars divided among three main sections: «Genres», «Authors and Texts» and «Topics». Issues discussed include genre syncretism, intertextuality, sexuality and gender, nationhood and globalization, postcolonial literature and ethical aspects of crime fiction.
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Dorota Babilas

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The unsolved case of Jack the Ripper’s crimes, which terrorised London in 1888, has gone down in history as one of the most gruesome and fascinating murder mysteries of all times. “Ripperology” still seems to be thriving over a hundred years since the bloody series of killings of at least five prostitutes struck the deprived and neglected Whitechapel district. Many explanations of what actually happened has been suggested in works of both fact and fiction (sometimes, interestingly, employing the services of yet another Victorian legend, Sherlock Holmes, to solve the mystery). However, some of the most audacious hypotheses link the Ripper crimes with the royal court, suggesting that the notorious killer was a servant, or even a member, of the Royal Family and that he acted with the permission of Queen Victoria herself (Stowell 1970; Knight 1976; Spiering 1978; Fairclough 1991). Despite being repeatedly disproved as unfounded gossip, these speculations have formed an entire subsection of “Rip-perologist” theories and fictions inspired by them, informing modern readers’ understanding not only of the murders themselves, but also of the mechanisms in which celebrity hearsay is generated.

The only element that is certain about Jack the Ripper’s crimes are the victims. The five, considered to be “canonical,” are:

–Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, aged 43, murdered on August 31, 1888;

–Annie Chapman, aged 48, murdered on September 8, 1888;

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