Approaches to Crime in the Sherlock Holmes Stories and the BBC's Murder Rooms: From Late-Victorian Anxieties to Twenty-First-Century Realism.

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This thesis will look at the representation of crime in the Sherlock Holmes stories of the nineteenth century, and that in the BBC’s series Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes. The aim is to answer the following question: How does the way crime is represented in the Sherlock Holmes stories of the nineteenth century relate to the reality of that issue at the time the stories were written, and how does this compare to the representation of crime in Murder Rooms? I will analyse the crime milieu of late-Victorian Britain by examining crime statistics of the time, and the ways crime was seen by leading sociologists. I will also look at the presentation of crime in the twenty-three Sherlock Holmes stories that were published in the last decade of the nineteenth century, and compare this presentation to the historical evidence. This will show that there is a discrepancy between the two, as the stories sh! y away fr om presenting crimes that could be connected to larger issues in society, such as poverty, thus expressing a certain anxiety when it comes to these issues. An analysis of Murder Rooms will then show that this series moves away from the reluctance to present larger issues, again creating a contrast. Going against the premise of the stories that form its inspiration, Murder Rooms continually points out mishaps in society and critiques them.
Faculteit der Letteren