Miss Marple: Gender and Age Traditionalist? A Feminist Radical? Or A Subtle Social Revolutionary?

Gives you so much to mull over.


Miss Marple represents different things to different readers. To some she is simply a source of entertainment, a good way of spending an idle weekend afternoon. To others she may bring a sense of nostalgia, for a way of life no longer existing or evoke memories of a well-loved elderly relative. But for me, I have increasingly found her to be an important cornerstone in the way women are represented as detectives in fiction.

When detective fiction first emerged as a separate genre in the 19th century, women on the whole did not have it easy as fictional detectives, struggling to maintain both the literary and social expectations of the heroine and the hero, (which the role of detective aligned itself with). If fictional female sleuths were young as well, they found this even harder. These difficulties came to a head at the height of the Golden Age detection…

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