Paper-thin walls: Law and the domestic in Marie Belloc Lowndes’ popular gothic

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Abstract

Marie Belloc Lowndes was a prolific author, publishing over forty
novels in addition to plays, memoirs and a large number of short stories spanning the first five decades of the twentieth century. Most of these are now largely forgotten. Despite her obvious popularity, evidenced by a significant number of film adaptations of her novels, Lowndes has not yet reached the radar of literary studies. Though the work of Lowndes features relatively regularly in anthologies and compilations of criticism of mystery and detective fiction, this rarely exceeds a few sentences and there is little scholarly work on her significance outside this limited sphere. With rare exceptions,1 these brief mentions of Lowndes deal almost exclusively with her most famous novel, The Lodger (1913), which was initially filmed by Hitchcock in 1927 as The Lodger: A Story
of the London Fog.2 The Lodger was subsequently filmed by Maurce
Elvey in 1932, John Brahm in 1944 and again by Hugo Fregonese in
1953 as The Man in the Attic. 2009 saw the most recent remake of The
Lodger in David Ondaatje’s adaptation. In this paper I read Lowndes’
‘real crime’ fiction as representing the domestic sphere as a place of
almost supernatural uncanniness. The walls of the house here do not
operate as armour against the outside world but instead are permeable
and seem to encourage border crossings; the psychic partitioning off of the perilous outside world, which the architecture of the home strives to achieve, starts to crack and subside.

Detaljer

Författare
Enheter & grupper
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Språk och litteratur
Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)55-77
TidskriftNJES: Nordic Journal of English Studies
Volym11
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2012
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa