By Stephen Knight
A well-liked crime style within the 19th century, city mysteries have mostly been overlooked ever given that. This old and demanding textual content examines the origins of the leading edge style, which grappled with the increase of large, nameless towns, starting in France in 1842, then spreading quickly around the continent and to the US and Australia. Writers coated contain Eugene Sue, George Reynolds, Paul Feval, George Lippard, "Ned Buntline" and Donald Cameron.
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Extra resources for The Mysteries of the Cities: Urban Crime Fiction in the Nineteenth Century
Rodolphe has been spoken of by both Eco and Bernheimer as a proto–Superman,40 but he is never superhuman: as this archetypal sequence shows, he is well informed, socially mobile, good at deception, carefully attentive to his surroundings, has reliable assistants when needed, and crucially is quick to act decisively and well provided with money. Structurally he is more like the gentleman amateur detective such as Lord Peter Wimsey or even the Saint, but closer is Ponson du Terrail’s Rocambole in his later period in the 1880s.
53 42 The Mysteries of the Cities The Duc and Duchesse de Lucenay, true aristocrats for all their limitations, live as might be expected in the Faubourg St Germain in an unidentiﬁed house but one like a royal palace. Interestingly, Mme. d’Harville and her epileptic husband live unhappily at the edge of the Faubourg St Germain on the corner of the Rue St Dominique and the Rue Belle Chasse, which cross at what is now Solferino Station, too close to the smelly and dangerous river for real social comfort — much like Clémence’s position at the start of the story, they are between the grandeur of the Observatoire and the disgrace of the Rue du Temple.
He explained to Sue the plans of the radicals, focusing on representation, enhanced working conditions, and an effective share of the value produced by labor. Sue was convinced and with typical ﬂair said that by the end of the evening he had become a socialist. Commentators, both right and left wing, have been skeptical or belittling about this conversion, but Sue remained consistent in his announced position. He supported the revolution in 1848, including by writing pamphlets,15 he was elected as a socialist deputy in 1850, and, after the coup d’état later that year that initiated the second empire of Louis Napoleon, he was exiled for his views.