Wednesday, February 22, 2012

At Last, The First...

From: Wikipedia

"Poisoning, hypnotists, kidnappers and a series of crimes 'In their nature and execution too horrible to contemplate': The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix [Charles Warren Adams], believed to be the first detective novel ever published, is back in print for the first time in a century-and-a-half.
     Although Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone, published in 1868, and Emile Gaboriau's first Monsieur Lecoq novel L'Affaire Lerouge, released in 1866, have both been proposed as the first fictional outings for detectives, the British Library believes The Notting Hill Mystery 'can truly claim to be the first modern detective novel.'
     Serialised between 1862 and 1863 in the magazine Once a Week, the novel was published in its entirety in 1863 but has been out of print since the turn of the century. It stars the insurance investigator Ralph Henderson, as he works to bring the sinister Baron 'R___' to justice for murdering his wife to obtain a large life insurance payout. [...]
     The British Library's new edition has been produced using photographs of the original 1863 edition, which featured illustrations by George du Maurier, grandfather of Daphne."
— Alison Flood, The Guardian

"Who wrote the first detective novel? That question was answered recently in the New York Times Book Review. He was Charles Warren Adams (1833-1903), according to Paul Collins in his article 'Before Hercule or Sherlock, There Was Ralph' (Sunday, 7 January 2011). Adams’s novel was The Notting Hill Mystery, first published in eight parts in the journal Once a Week: An Illustrated Miscellany of Literature, Art, Science & Popular Information between November 29, 1862 and January 17, 1863."
Rare Book Collections @ Princeton

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