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The voice of science: Ideology, Sherlock Holmes, and the Strand Magazine

Cranfield, Jonathan L. (2010) The voice of science: Ideology, Sherlock Holmes, and the Strand Magazine. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86432) (KAR id:86432)


This thesis uses The Strand Magazine and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories to examine the different ways in which science and ideology interacted in popular culture between 1891 and 1930. It is interested in the relationship between high and low cultures and the different experiences of the fin-de-siecle and modernity that they betray. It attempts to reconstruct an epistemology of scientific knowledge from 'the artefacts of low culture' and challenges prevailing critical attitudes in periodical criticism and Holmesian criticism. The methodology is derived from a mixture of Marxist literary criticism, ideology theory and the history of science in the belief that attitudes from all three critical traditions are necessary to properly unpack the culturally-embedded nature of periodicals. It plots the relationship between scientific and popular discourses and examines the different ways in which fiction was able to ideologically commodify scientific knowledge and incorporate it into everyday representations of the real world. The thesis is split into four main sections that analyse, respectively, class relations in the 1890s, scientific articles after the turn of the century, depictions of the male body in the aftermath of the Second Boer War and the effect of the onset of a knowledge economy of traditional genre fiction between 1913 and 1930.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cregan-Reid, Vybarr
Thesis advisor: Sleigh, Charlotte
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86432
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:59 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 22:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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