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BOOK REVIEWS "feminine" techniques for intensely personal reasons; for example, Dowson details how Sitwell's familial experiences may have contributed to her rejection of other women writers. The familial and cultural factors that lead women to adopt personas not directly in line with the traditional expectations for their sex are significant, and Dowson draws attention to these factors well. Finally, that Dowson avoids privileging female modernists over the other subgroups of modernism is refreshing. Though the structure of the book, with the female modernists placed toward the end, might suggest such privileging, Dowson's analysis of the female modernists makes it clear that she does not believe that writers who are woman-centered should receive more attention than the writers within other subgroups. Ultimately, Dowson's book is an important contribution to the discussion about defining modernism in a more pluralistic manner—and doing so in a less prescriptive fashion. The connections Dowson establishes between previously excluded women writers should encourage readers to continue mapping out new "webs" of writers, in the tradition established by Scott in The Gender of Modernism. MOLLY YOUNGKIN California State University DomÃ-nguez Hills Geographies of Class & Crime Simon Joyce. Capital Offenses: Geographies of Class and Crime in VictorianLondon . Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003. viii + 267pp. $39.50 THE TOPIC of Joyce's Capital Offenses, very broadly stated, is the association of London crime with East End poverty in the nineteenth century and the contemporary literary, journalistic, and documentary treatments of this association. There is in fact some difficulty in stating the topic as a result of a curious, but in these postpoststructuralist days hardly unique, feeling of disorientation, the causes of which will be considered after the following chapter-by-chapter summary. Chapter one, "Mapping the Capital City," sets up two oppositions: that between the threatening St. Giles area (west of Tottenham Court Road and thus pressing against the West End) and the fashionable St. James area, and that between the twin desires of the middle class to feel part of a human commonality on the one hand, and to lead a secure, privately conducted life expressive of personal individuality on the other. These two sets of oppositions partially parallel two meanings of the "mapping" of the chapter title—the cartographic and the more recent 466 ELT 47 : 4 2004 usage denoting the overlaying of one set of meanings on another. The "capital" of the title equally carries a dual meaning: London is not only the nation's capital but its economic center—"a city of capital" (24)—and therefore the center of the operations of capitalism. The title of chapter two, "Reading Run Riot," refers not primarily to the growth of the reading public (and the amount of fiction provided for that public) but to the perceived effect on a susceptible readership of novels in which crime and criminals figure largely. Joyce points out that Dickens's Oliver Twist was seen as introducing too much criminal jargon and too full a description of modes of thievery, while the many stage productions derived from the novel were more objectionable in their introduction of an attractiveness to criminality. Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard and its stage versions were found yet more corrupting. The modish chiasmus of the title of chapter three, "Resisting Arrest/ Arresting Resistance," points toward the examination of the opposition to, controversy over, and diverse attitudes toward the gradual introduction of a more (but never strongly) effective police force. Joyce focuses on Dickens's fascination with Inspector Field of the Metropolitan Police and his subsequent depiction of Inspector Bucket in Bleak House. He also emphasizes Dickens's dramatic use of Jo the crossing-sweeper to depict the miserable, hopeless life of the poorest class even though Dickens failed to suggest any effective remedy. Chapter four, "Lords of the Street and Terrors of the Way," treats some of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Wilde's Dorian Gray as evidence of the shifting of the setting of crime novels into the West End and a concomitant rise in the status of the criminals and victims. Such fiction, Joyce finds, is "part of the emerging...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 466-470
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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