Full Text

7. From Sensation to the Strand

Christopher Pittard

Subject Culture » Popular Culture
Literature » Victorian Literature

Place Europe

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

Key-Topics crime fiction, novel and novella

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405167659.2010.00008.x


In December 1890, a new monthly periodical appeared on British newsstands, just in time to provide leisurely Christmas reading for an aspirational middle-class market. In the first issue of the Strand Magazine , the publisher-editor George Newnes promised nothing but “cheap, healthful literature,” after he had perceived a gap in the market for a monthly which would include a wide range of fiction, interviews, articles, and illustrations. In practice, however, the Strand rapidly became appreciated for two particular genres. One was popular science writing; the other was crime and detective fiction. In the 1890s the Strand featured crime stories by (among others) Arthur Morrison, Grant Allen, L. T. Meade, Robert Eustace, Dick Donovan, and most famously Arthur Conan Doyle; although the term “detective fiction” had actually first appeared in the Saturday Review in 1886 ( Stewart 1980 : 27), it was arguably the Strand which was the most influential publication in developing and defining this emergent genre. This chapter begins by looking at those earlier crime subgenres to which the detective fiction of the fin de siècle was reacting. In this regard, Newnes's claim to ‘healthful literature ‘is a significant one: just as Newnes wanted his magazine to be an alternative to sporting papers and sensationalist broadsheets such as the Illustrated Police News , so too did its narratives ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top