Why did stories of criminals become irresistible for novelists? Starting with works like Moll Flanders in the eighteenth century, this lecture goes on to examine the role of criminals in Dickens, keen to let his readers and characters experience what Pip in Great Expectations calls 'the taint of crime'. To what ends?
How does the recent genre fiction of novelists like Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell return us to the transgressive pleasures of Defoe's criminal autobiographies?
A lecture by John Mullan 24 February
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/crime-fiction
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.