Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



Dr. Alexis Easley, Dr. Dallas Liddle, Dr. Laura Zebuhr


At the fin de siècle, L. T. Meade distanced herself from her professional identity as a girls’ fiction writer and began competing directly with top commercial crime fiction writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Grant Allen. But she offered a new corner on this market: serials with femme fatales who tantalized the Victorian imagination by personifying both beauty and treachery. Over time, Meade negotiated literary trends by fine-tuning her writing technique to meet a growing appetite for these femme fatale villains in crime fiction. I use both distant readings of Meade’s work within this competitive femme fatale market as well as a close reading comparison of two of her texts, The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings (1898) and The Sorceress of the Strand (1902– 3), to argue that she introduced new visual and sensational strategies to appeal to the middlebrow readers of the Strand Magazine.


Marketplace, literary, Femme Fatale

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.