By Annika Breinig
“Hallo, hier spricht Edgar Wallace,” are probably the first words that come to German minds, when they hear the name of the British author. Those lines introduce each film in a series based on Wallace’s books that was produced from the 1950s until the 1970s and televised throughout Germany. Thanks to the enduring popularity of these films among German audiences, the author enjoys a more prominent place in the cultural memory of Germany than in that of his home country. Unfortunately, Edgar Wallace himself never experienced the huge impact and success the movie adaptations achieved, since he died in 1932 Continue reading →
Edgar Wallace (Greenwich, 1875- Beverly Hills, 1932) is probably one of the crime authors whose academic reappraisal stands to gain the most from the shift in methods and objects advocated in this blog. A sort of consensus has hitherto prevailed, consigning his books (famously written over amazingly brief, but sustained, periods of concentration) in the category of hastily churned out yarns. Successful, but ultimately forgettable. Mass market products of their time, which have now become less appealing, and promise little reward to the modern reader. This is certainly very unfair. One needs only to consider his books’ capacity to thrill all across the world to be inclined to revise such judgement. Or to reflect on the number of adaptations to the screen (more than 150, making him one of the world leading authors) his novels have received Continue reading →
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Edgar Allan POE (1809-1849) The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Graham’s Magazine, Philadelphia, 1841)
Total of 13,724 words and 2,847 unique words. Most frequent words in the corpus: voice (42), said (35), Dupin(27), house (26), head (24).
Emile GABORIAU (1836-1873) L’Affaire Lerouge (Le Pays, 1863; Paris, Dentu, 1866; The Widow Lerouge, 1873)
Total of 123,867 words and 8,792 unique words. Most frequent words in the corpus: said (450), old (443), Sir(351), Noel (311), man (288).
Emile GABORIAU (1836-1873) Le Crime d’Orcival (1867), The Mystery of Orcival
Total of 103,639 words and 8,452 unique words. Most frequent words in the corpus: said (532), Lecoq (322), Plantat (307), man (252), know (230) Continue reading →
Edgar Wallace’s thrillers are true international bestsellers. First published in The Strand Magazine, in 1921, then as a book, the same year, by Hodder & Stoughton, The Law of the Four Just Men is the fourth novel in this Edwardian Crime series, started in 1905, and dedicated to the adventures of Edgar Wallace’s international cast of eccentric, youngish, killing vigilantes, the “Four Just Men”. It was hugely popular and went on to become a bestseller in America (Doubleday, Doran, Crime Club). The stories were illustrated, for the Strand Magazine by Belgian visual artist Emile Antoine Verpilleux (1888-1964). Among others, the artist also illustrated a short story by Conan Doyle for the same publication (1922) Continue reading →
One of the most iconic of German Crime Fiction series is Goldmann Taschen-Krimis. It was created as a pocketbooks series in 1952. In this format, together with new titles it republished many books, which had previously been published by Goldmann before the War, such as Christie’s Das Geiheimnis von Sittaford. The Goldmann pocket books used to cost less than 2 Deutsche Mark (1,90) until 1960. The price was then set at 2 DM Continue reading →
Mignon Good Eberhart (USA, 1899- 1996)
Crime Fiction is an international genre. It is well-known that several countries have collaborated to its invention. Exchanges and reciprocal influences between the US (Poe), France (Vidocq, Gaboriau) and England (Wilkie Collins, Conan Doyle), in particular, have been crucial in shaping it in the 19th Century. Publishers and Magazines have driven the translation of works of foreign crime fiction, creating international trends and reception patterns. Publishing industries, in the 20th Century have spread internationally. Continue reading →