By Salem Press, Fiona Kelleghan, Roger Guenveur Smith
On account that Edgar Allan Poe invented the fashionable secret novel within the mid-19th century, the variety of authors writing during this box has gradually elevated besides a requirement for such literature. As a reaction to such development, this article positive aspects articles on a hundred of crucial writers of the style.
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Extra info for 100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction
His first work, a verse tragedy about Oliver Cromwell, was judged a failure by friends and family. Undaunted by their verdict, however, Balzac began writing penny dreadfuls and gothic thrillers under various pseudonyms. Furthermore, he expected to become rich by establishing a publishing company, a printery, and a typefoundry; all three, in turn, went bankrupt and saddled him with insurmountable debts. Not until 1829 did Balzac—using his real name—enjoy a modest success, with the publication of Les Chouans (1829; The Chouans, 1890).
Such lucidity and cynicism, combined with an inflexible will, have led this satanic “poem from hell” to consider crime the supreme revolt against an intrinsically unjust world—a revolt further intensified by his homosexuality. In the end, however, Vautrin goes over to the other side and becomes head of the Sûreté, just as his model, François-Eugène Vidocq had done. Vidocq, whose mémoires had been published in 1828-1829, was a good friend of Balzac and often told him of his police adventures or his prison escapes, as numerous as they were extraordinary.
This clever trick might well have worked if only Vautrin were not Vautrin and had not suddenly sensed the trap. In The Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans, the Sûreté chief will again be ordered to fight against Vautrin, who this time is dis- Honoré de Balzac 19 guised as Abbé Carlos Herrera as his part in an elaborate but foiled swindle. ) Bibi-Lupin does in fact recognize Vautrin’s voice and a scar on his left arm, yet he cannot prove beyond a doubt that Herrera and Vautrin are indeed one and the same.
100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction by Salem Press, Fiona Kelleghan, Roger Guenveur Smith