'One of the most consistently busy of Britain's home industries during the past fifty years has been the manufacture of crime fiction. Some three hundred writers now contribute, more or less regularly, to the satisfaction of the public's appetite for books about murder, theft, fraud, espionage, arson, blackmail and kindred activities. . . This book is not an attempt to catalogue them . . . Its purpose is to explore some of the crime and mystery fiction of the past half century for clues to the convictions and attitudes of the large section of British society for which it was written.'
In Snobbery with Violence: English Crime Stories and Their Audience, Colin Watson explores the social attitudes that are reflected in the detective story and the thriller. From Conan Doyle and Edgar Wallace to Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming, Watson takes the reader on an entertaining and informative investigation into the world of crime fiction. First published in 1971 Snobbery with Violence has become a minor classic of literary and social history and should grace the bookshelves of every crime aficionado.