However …..


E. T. A. Hoffmann’s novella, Mademoiselle de Scudéri. A Tale from the Times of Louis XIV [Das Fräulein von Scuderi. Erzählung aus dem Zeitalter Ludwig des Vierzehnten], was first published in 1819 and can be considered an early example of crime fiction. (Source: Wikipedia)

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann is one of the best-known representatives of German Romanticism, and a pioneer of the fantasy genre, with a taste for the macabre combined with realism that influenced such authors as Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852), Charles Dickens (1812–1870), Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), George MacDonald (1824–1905), Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), Vernon Lee (1856-1935), Franz Kafka (1883–1924) and Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980). Hoffmann’s story Das Fräulein von Scuderi is sometimes cited as the first detective story and a direct influence on Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue. His stories form the basis of Jacques Offenbach’s famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which Hoffmann appears (heavily fictionalized) as the hero. He is also the author of the novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppélia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote, while Schumann’s Kreisleriana is based on Hoffmann’s character Johannes Kreisler. (Source: Wikipedia)

Today, I’m feeling slightly less ignorant.

First Detective Novel

I could be reinventing the wheel but have thought it might be of interest to regular or occasional readers of A Crime is Afoot.

notting-hill-serial The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix, dating back to 1862, preceded The Moonstone by some years. (Thank you Kerrie)

The author Julian Symons identified The Notting Hill Mystery as the first detective novel in 1972, calling its primacy “unquestionable” and its plot “strikingly modern”. The British Library first made the novel available via print-on-demand last March, as part of a collection of hundreds of 19th century novels. While most sold just two to three copies apiece, The Notting Hill Mystery took off following a glowing write-up in the New York Times which identified Adams as its author and described its ending as both “ingenious and utterly mad”, selling hundreds of copies and prompting the library to issue its new trade edition this month.

Read the complete article at The Guardian here.

For additional information:

51666n4WvzL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_ The Thrilling Detective Web Site

British Library Crime Classics

The Notting Hill Mystery at Wikipedia

Maybe as Les éditions de Londres says: “Not so popular when released, forgotten a few years later, fallen into oblivion for over hundred years, “The Notting Hill mystery” can still be seen technically as the first detective novel. But, as we said earlier, it is not so important. The true contribution of “The Notting Hill mystery” to the history of detective and crime novels it its novelty, it utter originality and how ahead of its time it was.”

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