The Father Of The Modern English Detective Fiction

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It has been argued that Wilkie Collins is ‘now widely recognised by most historians as the father of the modern English detective novel’. Consider this claim with reference to The Moonstone.

The Moonstone, written by author Wilkie Collins is a highly regarded, masterful example of Victorian literature which first took its form as a nineteenth century epistolary novel. It has previously been regarded by some as the first detective novel of it’s time, for instance, T.S Eliot once described The Moonstone as: ‘the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels.’ Not only does Eliot refer to Collins’ legacy in regards to early detective fiction, Eliot also highlights his pure talent and impact he injected into the genre.

A common explanation as to why Collins is regarded as the father of detective fiction is the way in which his work envelopes every quality of the classic detection novel. The Moonstone for example, is a journey of detection jilted by many twists and turns along the way. Collins incorporates factors such as, an incompetent local constabulary, a rural setting, multiple suspects and so on. One of the main events that is both integral and exclusive to The Moonstone is the recreation of the crime scene. This is a revolutionary concept that Collins incorporated into this work which not only kickstarts the resolution of the tail, but also preserves this novel in time as it is so relevant to modern day detective literature. Although Collins’

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