Abstract

Netflix’s Enola Holmes (2020) adapts Nancy Springer’s young adult novels by the same name for a new generation of viewers, using the affordances of film to engage varied source material and generic conventions. The film replicates often-used tropes and themes of both Neo-Victorian narratives and young adult literature and media—most notably, girl empowerment in a restrictive society. At the same time, Enola Holmes also challenges the notion of a bad or absent mother figure in children’s literature, complicating the character of Eudoria Holmes from Springer’s novels. While issues of adaptation are most obvious with regard to the Sherlock Holmes canon and Springer novels, Enola Holmes also employs Jane Eyre as an intertext, between shared characteristics in the plot and characterization as well as the use of direct address to speak to the viewer. With a familiar message promoting girl power and social activism, the rhetorical move made by Enola’s direct address invites the viewer to participate in the narrative.

You do not currently have access to this content.