The Sea-Raiders and The Yellow Face and The Goblin Who Stole A Sexton

The Sea-Raiders and The Yellow Face and The Goblin Who Stole A Sexton

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The Sea-Raiders is a very different story to The Yellow Face and
The Goblin Who Stole A Sexton but it still entertained the late 19th
century readers

A study of the author’s use of settings in a range of short stories
showing knowledge of literacy context.


These short stories were written over about hundred years ago these
stories were a very different approach in the Victorian era. Many
people had newfound literacy skills and the demand for popular reading
skills. Britain and a lot of other people liked reading magazines and
newspapers this entertained them. The genre that was most popular was
mystery, horror, detective and supernatural.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became famous in this era for his short stories
about a fictional detective called Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle
has been a doctor for several years. His trusted partner Dr Watson who
helped him solve the many cases, the detective was called in to
investigate always accompanied him. The two partners can be seen at
work in ‘The Yellow Face’, which was published in the 1894.

‘The Yellow Face’ is set in typically Victorian suburbia was a story
about a mystery that Holmes is called into investigate. A man called
Grant Munro comes to Holmes London office in an agitated state because
he believes his wife was hiding a terrible secret. They are a typical
Victorian couple that have been married for a couple of years he goes
to working the city and she stays at home to manage the household.
This was very common in the Victorian marriages that their wife would
hand over of any financial independence to her husband. Although she
has signed over her money and Munro allows her access to it was
unusual in the Victorian times. When she asks for £100 and won’t say
what for so he becomes suspicious he thought that is might be for a
new dress or something. So he asked her ‘What an earth for?’ so she
said to him ‘You said that you were only my banker, and bankers never
ask questions, you know’.

The reader sees Holmes at his best in this story his powers of
observation are particularly noticeable following Munro’s departure,
when Holmes examines the pipe he has ‘left-behind’. Holmes pays an
amazing attention to detail and consider by the reader to be an
excellent detective even though his theory is proved wrong at the end.

The story is set in London, Baker Street where Holmes and Watson live
and Norbury, a small village outside London, which is where the
Munro’s live. Effie Munro appears to have been and independent woman

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who was not afraid to follow her own interests like going behind her
husbands back. The secret Effie is hiding is not revealed until the
end of the story and does in fact show Holmes to have miss-read the
clues. The story was first published in 1894 and the fact that Effie
has a black child would have totally shocked Doyle’s readers. This
reflects the feelings of the time are shown by the fact that she was
frightened of her husband’s reaction to such a shocking revelation ‘I
asked you what is to become of us, my child and me’ Effie thought that
Munro would reject her and the child, which would have been a typical
reaction to this news. Doyle gives the readers a ‘Happy ending’ to the
mystery and Holmes is willing to accept the outcome hat he has been
proved wrong but he had built much more into Effie’s secret.

In Dickens story ‘The Goblin Who Stole A Sexton’ the Victorians were
presented with and amusing story with a moral to it. In using
imaginary Goblins to make Gabriel Grubb realise his faults, Dickens
included the supernatural which late 19th century readers were very
interested in. Grubb is a miserable gravedigger who does not like
Christmas. Gabriel Grubb was an ill conditional cross-grained surely
fellow a morose and lonely man. He prefers to be on his own at
Christmas digging graves. He is mean to all boys and prefers to go to
work on Christmas Eve than celebrate, he walks through the town
grumbling about all the festivities going on in peoples houses. As
modern readers, we are able to recognise that Grubb is like Scrooge
another 1 of Charles Dickens characters. Dickens creates a Gothic feel
to the story by describing the churchyard, late at night. Victorians
would have enjoyed the setting of the story and the build up in
Grubb’s fear as the goblins appear late at night. However although the
setting is spooky, the goblins were amusing. ‘We know the man with the
milky face and grim scowl’ and when ‘The goblin grinned a broad grin’
this is a spoof. This type of stories were thoroughly enjoyed by the
Victorians because it was thought to be amusing but also delivered a
message to its readers be miserable and see what you get and they
deserve all that happens to you. This feeling was demonstrated in the
story after ten years when Grubb returned but he still did not get any
sympathy by the Villagers.

The ‘Sea-Raiders’ is a very different story to ‘The Yellow Face’ and
‘The Goblin Who Stole A Sexton’ but it still entertained the late 19th
century readers just as much this story is meant to be considered to
be and early version of ‘Monsters From The Deep’. This story is a
chilling horror by famous authors H.G.Wells. He went on to write ‘The
War Of The Worlds’. His most ever famous book published in 1898, which
is about giant aliens invading the earth a story very much ahead of
its time. These stories style is in the style of scientific report,
written in the third person narrative. This story builds up tension
through Fisons discovery on the strength of half-digested tentacle.
However it is still descriptive enough to make even the modern readers
feel scared of the cephalopods ‘their bodies lay flatly on the
rocks…their eyes regarded him with evil interest… they began moving
towards him… and making a soft purring sound to each other’. Fison
makes his genies some discovery and of course when the small boat with
the women and child in it is fast approaching and he attempts to warn
then to keep away ‘For God’s Sake’.

In studying the three short stories of the late Victorian era and
ionising about these in particular it has become clear that the
Victorians loved a wide diet of short stories. Writers of the time
know exactly what they required. Some of them are still popular today
because people still enjoy ‘the detective’ stories involving Sherlock
Holmes and Dr Watson but this call also be said about horror stories
and the supernatural where film of course has pushed our expectations.
‘The Yellow Face’, ‘The Goblin Who Stole A Sexton’ and ‘The
Sea-Raiders’ were very popular in the late 19th century, which helped
the authors even more famous.
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