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sensation Novel

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A kind of novel that flourished in Britain in the 1860s, exploiting the element of suspense in stories of crime and mystery. The most successful examples are Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White (1860), Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret (1862), and J. Sheridan Le Fanu's Uncle Silas (1864). The sensation novel has been seen as an early kind of thriller in that it exposes dark secrets and conspiracies, but is distinguished from the classic detective story by its lack of a central detective figure. For a fuller account, consult Lyn Pykett, The Sensation Novel (1994).

Subjects: Literature

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