Re: RARA-AVIS: Ed Bunker and ex(?)-cons/Vidocq

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 02 May 2000

--- Mark Sullivan <> wrote:
> Anyway, there is clearly an appeal to true-life
> criminal exploits. So
> how far back does it go? If I remember correctly,
> didn't Poe and
> Dickens both base detectives (arguably the first
> fictional detectives)
> on the memoirs of a French (?) thief taker? Not
> exactly a crook, but
> not really a cop either.

There are many early examples of proto crime-detective novels and recits in early 19th Century French lit that could serve as models. However the most colorful real-life adventures/crime book of the time was by Vidocq (his memoirs). He was a crook, even a little bit murderer if I recall well. Went in jail. Established a kind of "PI - research" house, but in between became the chief of French police. Wrote many novels about police investigations. Invented the modern intelligence applied to ordinary police cases...etc. What about this ex-con! Quite a character...

Dupin from Poe came probably from Gaboriau's novels, but for the present time I'm far from my bookcase to be able to check ( approx 10,000 km) I do not know about Dickens.

E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

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