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Making Darkness Visible Capturing the Criminal and Observing the Law in Victorian Photography and Detective Fiction

1. Arthur Conan Doyle, ''A Scandal in Bohemia," in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Harmondsworth: Penguin), 9. [BACK]

2. Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 220. [BACK]

3. "A Case of Identity," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 42. [BACK]

4. John Tagg, The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988), 64. [BACK]

5. Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991), 17. [BACK]

6. "A Scandal in Bohemia," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 11. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

7. These two essay's appeared in the April and May 1840 issues of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, which merged later that year into Graham's Magazine, where "The Murders of the Rue Morgue" was published in April 1841. [BACK]

8. Edgar Allan Poe, "The Daguerreotype," Alexander's Weekly Magazine, January ,15 1840. [BACK]

9. For a discussion of what Lacan calls "the fallacious complementarity of the glance" in Poe's tale, see Barbara Johnson's investigation of Lacan's and Derrida's exchange on the subject in "The Frame of Reference: Poe, Lacan, Derrida," in Psychoanalysis and the Question of the Text, ed. Geoffrey H. Hartman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), 149-71. [BACK]

10. Edgar Allan Poe, "The Purloined Letter," Selected Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), 213. [BACK]

11. Other, earlier, Dickens novels contained characters who performed investigations. Mr. Nadgett of Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44) is one example, a man also distinguished by his powers of observation: "he saw so much," we are told, "every button on his coat might have been an eye" (chapter 38). Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton (1848) mentions a minor character who is an officer of the Detective Service. But Bucket is generally regarded as the first fictional police officer in the detective branch of the English police force to play a significant part in an English novel. [BACK]

12. Charles Dickens, Bleak House (New York: Norton, 1977), 275. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

13. That the magic lantern was a device used to create visual images before photography but came into its own once photographic images could be projected by it reinforces the point I make below: since this novel is set before but written after the invention of photography, Bucket stands as a personified harbinger of that technology. [BACK]

14. Beaumont Newhall, The History of Photography (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1982), 59. [BACK]

15. For a detailed study of the impact of the carte de visite on European society, see Elizabeth Anne McCauley, A. A. E. Disderi and the Carte de Visite Portrait Photograph (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985). [BACK]

16. Benjamin, 220. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

17. Audrey Jaffe demonstrates how in "The Man with the Twisted Lip" Sherlock Holmes inhabits a similar contradiction. "The story raises the possibility that the gentleman and the beggar are the same only to repudiate it," she claims; "its ostensibly democratizing identification of the two figures, like that of Victorian popular ideology in general, in fact [is] the expression of anxiety about such potential transformation (''Detecting the Beggar: Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry Mayhew, and 'The Man with the Twisted Lip,''' Representations 31 [Summer 1990]: 107). [BACK]

18. Flash photography would not be practiced regularly until the invention of flashlight powder in Germany in 1887. As early as 1867, however, Timothy H. O'Sullivan would use dangerous and unpredictable magnesium flares to illuminate his subjects in the mines and caves of the Sierra Nevada (see Newhall, 94-95, 133). Once more Bucket seems to anticipate the eventual possibilities and deployments of a technology that had only recently been invented. [BACK]

19. See T. W. Hill's note in the Norton critical edition of Bleak House, establishing the novel's setting in the 1830s, a finding based upon the development of the railroad in rural England (654). [BACK]

20. W. H. Wills and Charles Dickens, "The Modern Science of Thief-Taking," Household Words 1 (13 July 1850): 371. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

21. Charles Dickens, "The Demeanor of Murderers," Household Words 13 (14 June 1856): 505. [BACK]

22. Henry Morley and W. H. Wills, "Photography," Household Words 7 (19 March 1853): 55. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

23. John Payn, "Photographees," Household Words 16 (10 October 1857): 352-54. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

24. John Tagg, The Burden of Representation, 53. [BACK]

25. "London From Aloft," Strand Magazine 2 (1887): 492-98. [BACK]

26. Quoted in Stephen Kern, The Culture of Time and Space (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983), 187. [BACK]

27. Quoted in Asa Briggs, Victorian Things (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 135. [BACK]

28. Derek Longhurst has argued that women in the Holmes canon are generally rendered as both the agents and victims of criminality based upon a certain conception of "natural" gender difference. Whenever women, who are understood to be essentially passive, become active figures, they violate the natural (as well as the social) order. See Longhurst, "Sherlock Holmes: Adventures of an English Gentleman, 1887-1894," in Gender, Genre, and Narrative Pleasure, ed. Derek Longhurst (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989), 51-66. [BACK]

29. Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Case of the Illustrious Client," in The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Garden City N.Y.: Doubleday, c. 1930), 2:990. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

30. So profound was Doyle's own belief in the authority of photography and in its value for protecting ancient powers that he ardently defended his belief in fairies and the spirit world with the evidence of spirit photography. See Doyle, "Fairies Photographed," Strand Magazine 60 (December 1920): 463-68, and "The Evidence for Fairies," Strand Magazine 61 (March 1921): 199-206. [BACK]

31. Catherine Belsey has shown that this same ambivalence between authentication and manipulation occupies the Holmes stories' frequent textual digressions about their own truth and fictionality. "Through their transgression of their own values of explicitness and verisimilitude," she claims, "the Sherlock Holmes stories contain within themselves an implicit critique of their limited nature as characteristic examples of classic realism" ("Deconstructing the Text: Sherlock Holmes," in Popular Fiction: Technology, Ideology, Production, Reading, ed. Tony Bennett [London: Routledge, 1990], 284). [BACK]

32. Allan Sekula, "The Body and the Archive," in The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, ed. Richard Bolton (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989), 348. [BACK]

33. Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Naval Treats," in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987), 221. [BACK]

34. Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Hound of the Baskervilles," in The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, c. 1930), 2:672-73. [BACK]

35. See Allan Sekula's elaborate and informative treatment of the uses of photography by Bertillon (the "compulsive systematizer") and Galton (the "compulsive quantifier"). Sekula makes a case for the centrality of these two figures in establishing the concept of the photographic archive as a means to honor the bourgeois self and delimit the terrain of a threatening other ("The Body and the Archive," 353-75). [BACK]

36. Francis Galton, "Composite Portraiture," in Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (London: J. M. Dent, n.d.), 223-24. First published in 1883. Subsequent citations are given parenthetically in the text. [BACK]

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