The Ascent of the Detective: Police Sleuths in Victorian and Edwardian England
The figure of the detective has long excited the imagination of the wider public, and the English police detective has been a special focus of attention in both print and visual media. Yet, while much has been written in the last three decades about the history of uniformed policemen in England, no similar work has focused on police detectives. The Ascent of the Detective redresses this by exploring the diverse and often arcane world of English police detectives during the formative period of their profession, from 1842 until the First World War, with special emphasis on the famed detective branch established at Scotland Yard. The book starts by illuminating the detectives' socioeconomic background, how and why they became detectives, their working conditions, the differences between them and uniformed policemen, and their relations with the wider community. It then goes on to trace the factors that shaped their changing public image, from the embodiment of 'un-English' values to plebeian knights in armour, investigating the complex and symbiotic exchange between detectives and journalists, and analysing their image as it unfolded in the press, in literature, and in their own memoirs.
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1868 Committee 1878 Commission agents anarchists Bow Street Runners Britain British central Chapter City of London Clarkson and Richardson classes Clive Emsley commissioner crime fighters crime investigation criminal justice culture Daily detective branch detective department detective fiction detective force Detective Inspector Detective Police Detective Sergeant detective’s Dickens duties England English detective experience French Jack the Ripper John Littlechild journalists law enforcement Life’s Reminiscences literary Littlechild London Police memoirs Metropolis Metropolitan Police Moreover murder narratives newspapers nineteenth century novels occupation patrol Penny Illustrated Paper period plain-clothes police detectives police forces Police Guardian police officers Police Orders Police Review Police System Policing the Victorian political private detective professional provincial pseudo-memoirs published ranks readers recruitment reports Reynolds’s Ripper role Scotland Yard Sept Sherlock Holmes Shpayer-Makov social society Special Branch stories superintendent suspects texts thief-takers tion tives uniformed policemen University Press