Focusing upon the surprisingly neglected area of the criminal as a 'performer', Masquerade, Crime and Fiction offers an exciting, new framework within which to read literary and popular fiction about crime and criminality. Through stimulating discussions of a range of criminal types from the Regency 'swellman', the Victorian prostitute and the mid-twentieth-century gangster to the contemporary serial killer, Professor Peach offers new readings of established texts and argues persuasively for the importance of novels that have been previously neglected. In an accessible, lively text, he integrates incisive literary criticism with challenging, innovative arguments about gender, masquerade and culture. The book highlights the importance of masquerade and performance to criminology and revisits cultural assumptions about sexual identity, criminalisation and the body.

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