Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Dove, Fidelity. Fidelity Dove was created by “David Durham,” the pseudonym of William Edward Vickers (Department of Dead Ends, Dixon Hawke, Sefton Kyle, Inspector J. Rason, James Segrove), and appeared in twelve short stories which were collected in The Exploits of Fidelity Dove (1924).
Fidelity Dove is a Femme Fatale. She is a beautiful woman with a regrettable tendency toward law-breaking. She uses her beauty to enslave men--not through anything supernatural, but through their own desire for her--and uses these men, who are usually very intelligent and capable in their own right, as her gang. (She uses only their desires, though, and never her body; she leads a very prim, even puritanical, life). Dove generally uses her gang and her own not-inconsiderable talents to help others who have been wronged by criminals and the authorities, usually embarrassing Inspector J. Rason in the process. Dove also makes sure that by the end of a caper she's financially ahead, usually substantially so. She is given to wearing gray, as it goes well with her violet eyes.
* I've included Fidelity Dove in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because she's an archetype. During the early Pulp Age the lone wolf female thief was a somewhat common pulp archetype--there are a few listed in this encyclopedia. But Fidelity Dove was the best of them all, in part because she's a memorable character, in part because her stories are interestingly written, and in part because her author, William Edward Vickers, was a professional story-teller and knew how to write a good lone wolf female thief story. And also in part because of the stories' approach to sexuality; everyone is hot for her, and she knows it and uses it against them, which is far more realistic than the usual treatment of lone wolf female thieves in the pulps. Vickers doesn't pretend that sexuality doesn't exist; he just makes Dove too smart to regard her beauty as anything but a weapon to be used against men and her enemies (usually the same thing).
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