Émile Gaboriau (1832-1873) French 19th century journalist and writer of detective novels of the roman policier genre. Influenced by Poe (1809-1849). Eugène François Vidocq's (1775-1857) Vidocq; Personal Memoirs of the First Great Detective (1828) partly inspired Monsieur Lecoq, (1869) who in turn inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
Gaboriau's detective Monsieur Lecoq (1869) was partly inspired by real-life thief turned cop Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) who had published his memoirs in 1828. He had been sent to prison, escaped, and then reformed, eventually becoming Paris' Chief de la Sûreté. Lecoq is a master of disguise and scientific method, he understands the criminal mind. He wants to find a fair, not necessarily quick, resolution in the whodunit. Gaboriau was developing his ideas during a time of great change in the early 19th century. Cities were becoming increasingly dangerous and the evolution of the detective novel surely a reaction to an increase in organized police forces in cities all across Europe. Gaboriau weaves an authentic depiction of the criminal milieu while accounting for the social and cultural aspects of nineteenth century Paris and France.
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