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Heroes of Austerity: Genre in Transition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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This chapter explores the impact of the Second World War on British crime fiction, arguing that - in contrast to the aftermath of the First World War - the genre underwent a complex process of remasculinisation. Although clue puzzle mysteries did not disappear, their popularity was challenged by the reemergence of the thriller, the development of the police procedural and the creation of new modes of spy fiction. Male damage is central to these fictions, all of which seek new modes of man-making suited to the postwar world. Focusing on the work of Hammond Innes, John Creasey and Ian Fleming, the chapter considers how popular heroism mediated acceptable modes of masculinity and enabled at least imaginative repair to the damage of war.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Literature in Transition, 1940-1960
Subtitle of host publicationPostwar
EditorsGill Plain
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-1-107-119010-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameBritish Literature in Transition 1900-2000
PublisherCambridge University Press

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  5. Scotland and the First World War: myth memory and the legacy of Bannockburn

    Plain, G. (ed.), 2016, Lanham, Maryland: Bucknell University Press. 284 p. (Aperçus)

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