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Title: The popular fiction of Richard Marsh : literary production, genre, audience
Author: Vuohelainen, Minna Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 1257
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis provides a detailed overview of the popular fiction of 'Richard Marsh' (pseudonym of Richard Bernard Heldmann, 1857-1915). The most extensive such study extant, it examines the author's literary production, in 1880-83 under his given name Bernard Heldmann, and in 1888-1915 under the pseudonym 'Richard Marsh'. By methodically presenting previously uncollected material on . Heldmannl Marsh, the thesis provides a substantial research tool for scholars interested in the author's work. The thesis further analyses the dynamics of the mass market of the turn of the century through a detailed study of Heldmannl Marsh's popular fiction. While the literary production of Bernard Heldmann is considered in the first chapter of the thesis, the remaining three chapters focus on the career and fiction of 'Richard Marsh'. The thesis argues that after his early literary work as Bernard Heldmann in the 1880s, Richard Marsh emerged in the 1890s as a professional provider of popular fiction. The thesis examines his prolificacy, his keen business acumen, his ability to respond to popular demand, and his professional practice as a commercial author. It explores the genres in which Heldmannl Marsh wrote, including boys' adventure and school stories, gothic, and crime fiction, emphasising their topicality and arguing that Heldmannl Marsh's fiction provides us with important insights into public interests and popular culture in the period 1880-1915. While the thesis examines a range of fiction produced by Marsh, it particularly focuses on the generic overlapping that frequently occurs in the author's work. Through a detailed discussion of Marsh's urban gothic and short prison fiction, the thesis analyses how Marsh mixes popular genre fiction with elements from other types of commercially successful, often factual prose. The thesis argues that by fusing material from several genres in this way, Marsh widens the appeal of his fiction which, to contemporary audiences, would have been resonant with factual as well as fictional echoes
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available