Author: Elyssa Warkentin
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
View: 3341Out of the London fog, a mysterious stranger arrives on the Buntings’ doorstep seeking lodgings and a kindly ear – but a horrifying secret lurks behind his gentlemanly façade. Can Mrs Bunting uncover the true nature of his strange obsessions and avert looming disaster for her family? Marie Belloc Lowndes’s psychological thriller The Lodger (1913) was the first novelization of the infamous and still-unsolved “Jack the Ripper” murders of 1888. The novel transformed a sordid story of the London streets into a taut domestic tale of conflicted motivations, uncertain loyalty, and slow-burning terror. Lowndes, a contemporary – and rival – of Agatha Christie, adopted and subverted the detective fiction genre in order to explore women’s roles within the family and within larger society in ways that still resonate strongly today. This scholarly edition revives a pivotal text by an undervalued late-Victorian and early twentieth-century author, and adds to our understanding of that transformational literary period. This edition brings together, for the first time, Lowndes’ 1913 novel and the 1911 short story upon which it was based, providing new transcriptions of the texts alongside facsimiles of Henry Raleigh’s original illustrations. A critical introduction offers historical, thematic, and biographical context drawn from new archival research, as well as an exhaustive bibliography of Lowndes’s published work.