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Sutherland, John

Entry updated 23 May 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic.

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(1938-    ) UK academic, newspaper columnist and author; Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London. He began to publish work of genre interest with "The Struldbrugg Reaction" in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for July 1964; a second story appeared in the following year in Worlds of Tomorrow.

A specialist in Victorian and twentieth-century fiction, Sutherland is best known for a series of thought-provoking essays on anomalies, inconsistencies and other more or less puzzling aspects of well-known novels, beginning with Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (coll 1996). Works examined in this first collection include Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein (1818; rev 1831), Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) and H G Wells's The Invisible Man (12 June-7 August 1897 Pearson's Weekly; 1897) – the last with the question "Why is Griffin cold?", or why does the Invisible Man (who successfully tested his Invisibility process on white wool) not make himself invisible clothing? Of particular genre relevance are two volumes entirely devoted to individual books: Who Is Dracula's Father? and Other Puzzles in Bram Stoker's Gothic Masterpiece (2017) and Frankenstein's Brain: Puzzles and Conundrums in Mary Shelley's Monstrous Masterpiece (2018). The content is informative, the tone light-hearted and accessible. [DRL]

John Andrew Sutherland

born London: 9 October 1938

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