As might be expected of a writer from a working-class background, Arthur Morrison made extensive use of characters from the laboring class and lower middle class; he extended this fascination with the underdog to anguished members of the professional and aristocratic classes. He frequently subordinated the subject of murder to the subject of theft, which is uppermost in the minds of those who have had relatively little at one time. “The Case of the Dixon Torpedo,” an early story, concerns the trials of an engineer, F. Graham Dixon, whose career may go under because of the theft of his plans for a torpedo in which the government has great interest. Claridge and Woollett, jewelers in “The Stanway Cameo Mystery,” fall prey to guilt arising from the foisting on Claridge of a fake cameo by a confidence man. In “The Holford Will Case,” an elderly lawyer, assigned as an estate executor, is befuddled by the theft of his friend Holford’s will and the resulting threat to the main legatee’s financial security. It is Morrison’s working-class tales, however, that seem to have originated in the author’s strongest feelings and evoke his reader’s strongest sympathy for Morrison’s hapless victims.
“The Case of Mr. Foggatt”
In “The Case of Mr. Foggatt,” Sidney Mason, the murderer of his father’s enemy, Foggatt, is a rising young barrister whose athletic injuries give him away to Hewitt, who is seeking a culprit with a...
(The entire section is 1360 words.)
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