Betteredge, the steward at the Verinder estate, treats the book Robinson Crusoe as his bible. He says this, "such a book as Robinson Crusoe never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad - Robinson Crusoe. When I want advice - Robinson Crusoe. In past times, when my wife plagued me; in present times, when I have had a drop too much - Robinson Crusoe. I have worn out six stout Robinson Crusoe's with hard work in my service."
Wilkie Collins (along with Poe, Dickens, and Doyle) was the architect of the 19th century detective novel. T.S. Eliot claimed The Moonstone, published in 1868, the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels. After reading the novel, researchers should decide on a theme and use the library's books and databases to find resources to support their premise. Use this assignment guideto get a handle on what was going on in the world during the period. The Moonstone is set in 1842.
The video (5 minutes) is a very short overview of the development of the mystery novel - from Collins to the twenty-first century. Stop at any time...it goes along quickly.
Read a little first - enjoy the book and then select the topic for your paper. Do a little research to make sure you will have plenty to support your theme or subject.
Librarian talk . . . About Getting Started!
As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage. Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, literary works, events, or broader identifying terms. Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet.It is best to use a variety of formats when researching. Keywords to consider:: Wilkie Collins; Detective and Mystery Fiction Criticism; Victorian England; The Moonstone; Mystery elements; character names.
|The Moonstone offers many themes for the researcher. Talk with your instructor about this. Here are a few ideas we like.
Literary Criticism may be found in books and journals. You will probably start your search with Reference Books. They give you a feel for the types of criticism available. Because they are often overviews, you might not find them appropriate to quote in your paper.Books
Librarian Talk . . .About Books!
Apply online for a library card. Use the barcode number from your Lone Star College ID or library card to:
Several titles on the works of Wilkie Collins have been placed on reserve at the Circulation Desk in the library. Other books for your research include:
|Librarian Talk . . . About Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles!
Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. To find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more, use your updated library card to login to the following databases. If you find an interesting article that is not full-text, please give the correct bibliographic information to our Reference Librarians and they will see that you get the article. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if they need to. There is some overlap of articles in the following databases. However, we encourage you to use more than one. All are excellent sources for this topic.HINT: For a full list of article databases, go to http://library.lonestar.edu/and use your library card for login.
|Librarian Talk . . . About the Internet!
The Internet will be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at:
The complex tale of the Moonstone is narrated from three points of view. This is a particularly good mechanism to allow the reader to, as the servant Betteredge claims, be the judge. We enjoyed The Moonstone for its characterizations, humor, representation of the class system in England during the 19th century, atmosphere, and, of course, its mystery. Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum online. The timeline below is sketchy, but will give the user an idea of events during the Victorian age.
|Dates||Government||British News||Forensics||World News|
|1799||Sir John Hardcastle murders 3 Brahmins and takes the moonstone during the storming of Seringapatam, India.|
|Before ...||\1719 Robinson Crusoe by Defoe | 1814 British invade and burn Washington | Jane Austen | London illuminated by gas (1815) | Beginning of the Industrial Age | Neoclassicism and Romanticism Art||1776 Dental ID (Revolutionary War) | 1804 Medico-legal Institute established (U of Vienna) | 1750 John and Henry Fielding established the Bow Street Runners, a bounty hunting police force, in London||Age of Imperialism 1815-1913 in Europe | Napoleon abdicates 1815 Waterloo | Brothers Grimm fairy tales | Malthus Principles of Political Economy|
|1829||George IV reigns||Duke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister | Catholic Emancipation Act (can hold office) | First Oxford Cambridge Boat Race | British industrial ascendance clear (80% of Europe's coal, 50% of iron, and all steam engines||Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police, Scotland Yard being the principle station. Called Bobbies or Peelers, they were subsidized by the government. Very successful.||Colonization of Australia | Louis Braille invents finger reading for the blind | Balzac |
|1830||William IV (brother) succeeds||Writing during this period: Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, William Thackeray | British votes extend to middle-class males | Newman Tracts for the Times | London Bridge opened||Reform Bill | American police force formed in Boston, modeled after Peel's metropolitan police.||Socialism becomes popular term in Britain and France|
||Smallpox epidemic | Industrial poverty , unemployed | | Railway boom in England||Atlantic steamship service begins | Britain act passed to register births, marriages and deaths | Morse develops telegraph | Pittman's Shorthand system||Britain establishes Hindustani as the lingua franca of India | US gag law to suppress debate on slavery issue | financial panic in US | First Opium War between Britain and China|
|1840||Victoria marries Albert||Murders in the Rue Morgue by Poe (first detective story), Punch begins publishing | National temperance Society | A Christmas Carol | First public telegraph line from Paddington to Slough||Scotland Yard Detective Police Force formed | Penny post started | Detective Dept formed | Crime rate highest of century | Railway from London to Manchester | 1840-1870 mug shots, crime scene, post mortem photos||Hong Kong ceded from China | Can-can dance in Paris | Railway boom in Europe | Telegraph from Baltimore to Washington|
|1845||Thackeray, Tennyson, Trollope, Bronte's | | Royal Opera House | Wuthering Heights | Jane Eyre | First Factory Act limits working hours | Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood forms||Warren and Morton use ether in the USA as anesthetic during operations | British surgeon uses chloroform||Potato Famines | 2.5 million Irish immigrate | Revolutions in Europe,1848 | Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY | Married Women's Property Act | American President Zachary Polk|
|1848-1849||Events of Moonstone take place during these two years.|
|1850||Dickens, Tennyson | Population 21 million | Crimean War | Cholera epidemic | Britain has 39.5% of world shipping | trade unionism begun | Realism Art | Crystal Palace in Hyde Park||Telegraph cable under English Channel | Faraday discovery of electromagnetic induction | Pinkerton Detective Agency founded in America | Wells Fargo||Darwin's The Origin of the Species | Smithsonian Institute in US | Moby Dick | The Scarlet Letter|
|1855||Livingston discovers Victoria Falls | Indian Mutiny | Great Stink - sewage in Thames (cholera) | Florence Nightingale |||Metropolitan police extended to the villages||Cunard steamer crosses Atlantic in 9.5 days | Uncle Tom's Cabin | Flaubert's Madame Bovary | Thoreau | East India Company dissolved. Control of India transferred to the crown|
|1860||Prince Albert dies||The Woman in White (1860) | Industrial Expedition | Elizabeth Barrett Browning |||Telegraph cable under Atlantic | Steam powered subway in London | patent for Gatling machine gun||Unification of Italy | American Civil War | Silas Marner | Les Miserables | Lincoln becomes US president|
|1865||2nd reform bill | Moonstone (1868) | First concrete roads in Britain | Impressionism | Debtor's prisons abolished||Last public hanging | Last convict sent to Australia | Nobel invents dynamite||Fenian rising in Ireland | Suez Canal opened | Red Cross | Alice in Wonderland | Impressionist movement in art | Mark Twain|
|1870||Univ Tests Act removed religious tests at Oxford and Cambridge | Trade Unions legalized | Population 26 million | Compulsory education introduced||1870 document authenticity - handwriting | Typewriter invented | Bell's telephone | Edison's phonograph | Repeater rifle||Germany unified | Gilbert and Sullivan | Diamonds found in South Africa | invented | Barbed wire|
|1875||Victoria named Empress of India||Zulu wars | Post Impressionism | Secret ballot introduced||Edison invents phonograph | Bell invents telephone||Thomas Hardy | Tom Sawyer | Dostoyevsky|
|1880||Disraeli and the Tories | Married Women's Property Act | Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet, first Sherlock Holmes.||First book on fingerprinting||Socialist workers in France | Edison's incandescent lamp | Pasteur immunization for anthrax|
|1885||Golden Jubilee||Bloody Sunday Riots | Jack the Ripper | Kipling | Stevenson||Motor cars||Fall of Khartoum | Eiffel Tower | Faberge eggs | Karl Marx Das Kapital|
|1890||Financial panic in London and Paris | London dock strike||New Scotland Yard | X-Rays||Emily Dickinson | Ibsen | First comic strip in US | Freud employs 'cathartic' methods|
|1895||Diamond Jubilee||Turbine ships built by Royal Navy | Wireless telegraphy from Britain to France||Fingerprinting System adopted||Madame Curie | First modern Olympic Games in Athens|
|1900||Victoria dies (1901) Edward VII succeeds||Boer War | Labor Committee founded||Marconi wireless | Wright Brothers | First coast-to-coast crossing by car takes 65 days||Boxer Rebellion in China | 1902 US acquired control of the Panama Canal | Flatiron building on Broadway, one of first skyscrapers (20 storeys)|
Finally, mystery writers today who set their historical mysteries during the Victorian period include...
Try Film (A great way to get a feel for the period and to tune your ear into the language of the 19th century.)
|Librarian Talk about getting help!
Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following resources if you need additional help. Remember, the expert on the assignment is your professor; use the eCollege VISTA in-class email to contact her.
Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.
Avoiding Plagiarism | Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
University of Texas Copyright Crash Course | This helpful guide on copyright is suggested by Lone Star College-Kingwood Teaching and Learning Center.
The Learning Center | Check the TLC hours for in-house tutoring..
Page by Peggy Whitley, 2001. updated 4/2013 BB.