Ngaio Marsh's New Zealand Gothic

Pittaway, Gail (2015) Ngaio Marsh's New Zealand Gothic. Aeternum the journal of contemporary Gothic studies, 2 (2). pp. 46-59. ISSN ISSN2324-4895

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Abstract or Summary

While well established as a crime writer in her native country New Zealand and abroad, in the Golden Age of crime writing, between the two World Wars, Ngaio Marsh also explored more than the simple ‘whodunit’ genre. Along with mysterious and sudden deaths and the investigations by her professional police investigator, Roderick Alleyn, whose intelligence is matched by his intuition, Marsh also revels in the uncanny and supernatural, several spectacular and innovative means of murder (involving wool presses in one and a boiling mud pool in another), the impact of locale, especially isolation, on the actions of criminals and victims, and the workings, in a couple of her New Zealand based stories, of makutu or Māori magic. In an attempt to further the debate concerning New Zealand writing and the nature of a New Zealand Gothic, first identified by William Shafer in his 1998 work Mapping the Godzone, this paper considers the Gothic elements of Marsh’s four detective novels set in New Zealand, A Vintage Murder, 1937, Colour Scheme, 1943, Died in the Wool, 1945 and Photo Finish, 1980.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords that describe the item:Ngaio Marsh, crime fiction, Aotearoa, Gothic
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
ID Code:4287
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Deposited On:09 Feb 2016 21:44
Last Modified:09 Feb 2016 21:44

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