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Conan DoyleWriting, Profession, and Practice$
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Douglas Kerr

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 July 2021

Law and Order

Law and Order

(p.133) 5 Law and Order
Conan Doyle

Douglas Kerr

Oxford University Press

Conan Doyle is best known for his crime stories. This chapter shows that the police, judiciary, and penal systems were all subject to debate and reform in his lifetime. Criticism usually sees detective fiction as complicit with the disciplinary regimes of its time. This chapter however shows the Holmes stories to be remarkably uninterested in, and uninformative about, the policing and judicial process, focusing instead on the adventure of uncovering secrets and creating knowledge. But in his non-fictional work, and especially in his campaigns for the victims of official injustice like Edalji and Slater, Conan Doyle emerges later in his career as an alienated observer and radical critic of his society's institutions of law and order, and the interests they serve.

Keywords:   police, detective fiction, Sherlock Holmes, Edalji case, crime and punishment, miscarriages of justice

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