Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: 165 years ago today

From: Jess Nevins (
Date: 20 Apr 2006

-----Original Message-----
>From: William Harker <>
>At 02:02 PM 4/20/2006 -0400, you wrote:
>>Do you know of an alternative?� Looking around the net, I can't find
>>any sites that say Dupin isn't the first fictional detective, merely
>>sites that corroborate the claim.� It would be nice to know who the
>>first really is.
>>On 4/20/06, Jess Nevins <> wrote:
>> > Nor was he the first fictional detective, and "Rue Morgue" wasn't
>> > the first detective story. But never mind.
>If anyone knows of further early stories, I'd be glad to hear about them.
>Here are the two earliest *American* mystery stories I have:
>"The Murderess" in "The Diary of a Philadelphia Lawyer," published by
>_Gentleman's Magazine_ (American version -- the one Poe was to edit
>in the early 1840s), 1837.
>"The Murderess" is interesting because it is the first "chapter" in a
>group of seven that would be published in _Gentleman's Magazine_ that
>year under the name "The Diary of a Philadelphia Lawyer".� The first
>chapter is the "whodunnit" chapter and the rest go through the trial
>and denouement which is rather noirish.

Is this by William Burton? I included his "The Secret Cell" (also 1837, also GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE) in VICTORIANA but was never able to locate the promised sequel to it--it's got a police detective main character who uses his wife as an information-gathering agent.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Apr 2006 EDT