Taboos, tunnels, technology, terror
: Neo-Victorian nether regions

  • William George Sutton

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In writing my historical mystery trilogy, I was shocked by my researches. We think the Victorians prudish, righteous, and obsolete; I found them depraved, seditious, progressive. Subjects suppressed in their fiction were researched through sub-literatures: diaries, police reports, pornography unravelling our glorified image of the era. Their own narrative structures offered ways to bring the hidden to light, gaps and silences suggesting mechanisms to expose modern taboos. Explosive material – sewers, outcasts, slum-clearances, assassinations – blasted our preconceptions, illuminating follies past and present.
Date of Award2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorKarl Bell (Supervisor)


  • Neo-Victorian fiction
  • Victorian underworlds
  • creative histories
  • PhD by publication
  • Gothic

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