Sam Saunders

Sam Saunders

I'm a PhD student in the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History. Prior to starting my PhD I studied for a dual-honours degree in English and History at Bangor University, North Wales, before coming to LJMU in September 2014 and completing the MRes (Master of Research) degree in English Literature, passing with distinction. My MRes thesis explored the relationships between gender and character in Victorian detective fiction and how the gender of characters affected the progress of detective narratives across the nineteenth century. My current research interests lie in the study of Victorian sensation, crime and detective fiction, as well as mid-to-late Victorian print culture and the way that these two genres intersect with each other. My PhD research engages with the role of Victorian periodicals between 1861 and 1887 in public perceptions of the police force, detectives and crime. It explores the ways that the public perceived the police through these periodicals, and how this affected the construction of...
Read More
Did She Kill Him? A Talk With The Author

Did She Kill Him? A Talk With The Author

Kate Colquhoun’s novel Did She Kill Him?On Thursday 5th February esteemed author, lecturer and academic Kate Colquhoun graced Liverpool John Moore’s University with her presence to talk to intrigued students and staff members alike about her historical retelling of a Merseyside story, Did She Kill Him? In brief, Kate explores the interesting case of Florence Maybrick, who in 1889 was arrested and put on trial for the alleged murder of her cotton merchant husband, James Maybrick. Method? (Arsenic) Poison. Motive? Adultery. Florence, a sweet (?), innocent (?) and virtuous (?) Alabama girl is represented in Kate’s novel as being the victim of a malicious judicial system which callously singled out a naïve and fragile widower. Further, Kate suggests that Florence was systematically and categorically alienated, isolated and finally subjugated by a hostile and altogether unwelcoming (British) milieu which failed to adopt her. Further, the entrepreneur’s untimely demise was shrouded in mystery from the offset, captivating the intrigue of the British media,...
Read More
English Students Write Blog Posts for Journal of Victorian Culture Online

English Students Write Blog Posts for Journal of Victorian Culture Online

Six Level 5 English students have written a series of blog posts about crime and punishment in Victorian Liverpool for the Journal of Victorian Culture Online, the blog for the respected Journal of Victorian Culture. As part of the second year English module, Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession 1700-1900, students took to the city’s streets to explore the spaces of Victorian crime and punishment. The module, which is led by Dr Helen Rogers, explores both real and imagined prison voices investigating, for example, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (1861) alongside the criminal confessions and historical debates about confinement that Dickens drew upon. Zoë Alker, an LJMU doctoral student whose thesis examines violent street robbery in mid-Victorian Liverpool, was asked to run three sessions related to her research and decided to organise field trips to the places that featured so heavily in her case studies: the nineteenth-century Assize court in St George’s Hall, and the former bridewell on Argyle Street. During these sessions, students...
Read More