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Clever Criminals and Daring Detectives
Now through Fri, September 1, 2017 3:00 P.M.
Since the early days of printing, readers have thrilled to true crime tales of highwaymen, murderers, and the last words of executed criminals. These narratives provided a mix of lurid details, moral uplift, and reassurance of the workings of justice. While true crime attracted readers through the centuries, fictional crime stories came into their own with the advent of the modern detective novel in the 19th century. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” launched this new genre, which blossomed through the century in works ranging from Charles Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and even Bram Stokers’ Dracula.
This exhibition chases both criminal and detective characters across a wide historical landscape and offers the chance to test visitors’ own sleuthing skills. Objects on display include the earliest account of an American multiple murderer, the manuscript of “The Adventure of the Empty House” by Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ellery Queen’s thoughts on collecting detective fiction.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-732-1600.