Policing print: the novel before the police * Three card trick: a novel

Reynolds, Jack (2016) Policing print: the novel before the police * Three card trick: a novel. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis is presented in two sections; the first, ‘Policing Print: The novel and the practice of law enforcement 1720-1750,’ is a critical essay examining the interrelated development of the novel and the culture of policing in eighteenth-century London. ‘Policing Print’ investigates what D.A. Miller refers to as ‘the possibility of a radical entanglement between the nature of the novel and the practice of the police.’ While Miller’s book, The Novel and the Police, engages with post-1860 novels and policing practices, this thesis takes his subject back further and argues that the eighteenth-century novel was already engaged with the culture and practice of policing.
The second, though primary, section is the historical novel, Three Card Trick, which is a fictionalised telling of the confrontation between the notorious housebreaker, Jack Sheppard, and the thief-taker, Jonathan Wild. Three Card Trick is an attempt to write a crime novel differently; to bend and stretch the genre in order to make it speak to the specificities of my historical characters and the milieu in which they are embedded. Three Card Trick therefore derives its narrative structures and strategies from the acts and institutions of crime and law enforcement which it describes; Wild is at once criminal and policeman, antagonist and ally, Sheppard both self-interested criminal and ascendant folk hero.
These two parts of the thesis are significantly in dialogue with each other. ‘Policing Print’ argues that the novel and the culture of policing informed and were informed by one another. Attention to this movement between novelistic and policing practice produces new readings of Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders and Henry Fielding’s The Life of Jonathan Wild the Great. In turn, these readings directly shape the creative methodology of my novel, Three Card Trick, by enabling it to engage creatively with the arguments made in my critical work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Megan Ruddock
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 10:42
Last Modified: 16 May 2018 10:42
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67076
DOI:

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