----------------------------THE HEADERS--------------------------- Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 00:58:37 -0500 (CDT) From: james george st andre
Subject: mysteries of London  Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 10:25:35 -0500 (CDT) From: AJ Subject: Re: bodysnatching revisited   Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 10:27:46 -0700 (MST) From: "STEPHEN DAVIES, MT. ROYAL COLLEGE" Subject: Etext avail: Collins' true crime and Wells' uncle  Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 16:48:35 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Champ Subject: Technology and Craig Kennedy  Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 16:24:36 -0500 From: "S.T. Karnick" Subject: Reeve's modern alchemy  -----------------------------THE POSTS----------------------------- Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 00:58:37 -0500 (CDT) From: james george st andre Subject: mysteries of London  Hi Gassers: Jo Ann Citron asked for bib. details of _The Mysteries of London_ and I thought I might as well post the info to the list: Written by George W. M. Reynolds, published in London by George Vickers, 1846? (spine has 1845, title page has 1846) Title page says Reynolds is "author of _Pickwick Abroad_, _The Modern Literature of France_, _Robert Macaire_," etc. The key here is the first one, which shows that Reynolds capitalized on more than one famous author's work. _Mysteries_ is a rip-off of Eugene Sue's enormously popular _Mysteres de Paris_. Bleiler calls Reynolds "The prince of the penny dreadfuls" in his introduction to _Richmond: or, Scenes in the Life of a Bow Street Officer_, (NOT by Reynolds) and notes that Reynolds also published something called _Mysteries of the Court of London, First Series_ (1848-50). It was in fact a search for this last title that led me by accident to _Mysteries of London_. Does anyone know, by the way, if there are modern reprints of other early detective/mystery fiction besides _Richmond_ by Dover? It's not easy to get this kind of thing through inter-library loan, as many of the books are fragile. Have I mentioned on this list, by the way, that Emory University in Georgia bought Hugh and Graham Greene's collections of detective fiction at auction a few years ago? They are kept in the special collections department on the top floor of their main library. The staff are very nice. Jim St. Andre jgs3(at)midway.uchicago.edu
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 10:25:35 -0500 (CDT) From: AJ
Subject: Re: bodysnatching revisited   There is an account of a Georgia resurrection man in the 1850s at http://www.cris.com/~Pgarber/grave.html At least I hope the URL still works...been a while since I last visited... so many sites, so little time...sigh.... AJ Wright//meds002(at)uabdpo.dpo.uab.edu
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 10:27:46 -0700 (MST) From: "STEPHEN DAVIES, MT. ROYAL COLLEGE"
Subject: Etext avail: Collins' true crime and Wells' uncle  CALDROIL.NON Wilkie Collins' "The caldron of oil" is the last, that I know of, in the series _Cases worth looking at_. UNCLEx10.HUM UNCLEx11.HUM H.G. Wells' _Select conversations with an uncle_ (1895) continues with two provocative and hilarious instalments, joining UNCLEx01.HUM and x02 Send to: mailserv(at)mtroyal.ab.ca the following commands: send [gaslight]caldroil.non send [gaslight]unclex10.hum send [gaslight]unclex11.hum or send [gaslight]unclex*.hum to get all four. Or visit the website at: http://www.mtroyal.ab.ca/programs/arts/english/gaslight ===> Non-fiction ====> Wilkie Collins and ===> Chronological ===> 1895 Stephen D SDavies(at)mtroyal.ab.ca
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 16:48:35 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Champ
Subject: Technology and Craig Kennedy  One possible objection to Reeve's stories is that they are driven by whatever new technological or scientific discovery Reeve has been reading about. There is sometimes a sense that the stories have been created in order to explain or show off some dazzling new bit of equipment or forensic technique rather than unveil the solution to a mystery. One is tempted to say that the real hero of the tales is Technology rather than Craig Kennedy who, smart fellow though he might be, is primarily the instrument through which Reeve is educating his audience. This is quite different from, let us say, Austin Freeman's approach in the Dr. Thorndyke stories. Dr. Thorndyke uses scientific methods to solve his cases, certainly, but those methods really don't impress us as much as Thorndyke's own perspicacity. Thorndyke also looks fairly primitive in his use of "apparatuses" compared to Craig Kennedy, and Freeman isn't in the business of carefully explaining (as Reeve does almost obssessively in some cases) his detective's materials. Kennedy, I might point out, is a college professor who frequently uses his students to haul around his equipment (I wonder if they got extra credit.) These students are, in a sense, his Baker Street Irregulars--though they appear pretty regularly, even if anonymously. Craig's sidekick, Walter Jameson, is a journalist on whose contacts Craig sometimes draws but whose essential job is to transcribe the cases and admire the intelligence of the solver. These two gents share a fancy bachelor's flat. Another continuing character is First Deputy Police Commissioner O'Connor, who is always funneling unsolved cases to Craig. Craig, I should say, bears some superficial resemblance to Jimmy Dale: the operative word is "superficial." Bob Champ rchamp(at)europa.umuc.edu
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 16:24:36 -0500 From: "S.T. Karnick"
Subject: Reeve's modern alchemy  Arthur B. Reeve's "The Invisible Ray" is a very good introduction to the adventures of Craig Kennedy, the "scientific detective." It is by now, of course, an utter cliche to complain that Kennedy's stories have dated badly because the science, shown as so wondrous in the narratives, has become commonplace. I certainly don't find the stories to have dated, perhaps because we are now far enough away from the time in which they were written to be able to read them as "period pieces" and enjoy entering the mindset of a time when modern science was just beginning to establish itself in the public mind. One of the great pleasures of the stories -- indeed, significantly more evident here than in R. Austin Freeman's excellent Dr. Thorndyke tales from across the pond -- is the charming sense of wonder at what science and technology could do. Reeve perfectly captures the American passion for gadgets and scientific gizmos at its height in the early years of this century. This passion was close to a religion, and Reeve cleverly expresses this by repeatedly connecting the two in our minds: "And here is where the weird and uncanny part of it comes in," commented Craig [in describing Prescott's theories. [Prescott, says Craig, has] "unified the physical, the physiological, and the psychical -- a system of absolute scientific monism." [Wow! What fun!] We three bespectacled figures [two scientists and one reporter] lacked only the flowing robes to be taken for a group of medieval alchemists set down a few centuries out of our time in the murky light of Prescott's sanctum. He placed his finger on the letters "Au," under which was written the number, 197.2. I wondered what the mystic letters and figures meant. Haswell's speech after being "resurrected" by the pulmoter "was like a voice from the grave," and "it was evident that he had been saved." "The very cleverness of your scheme will penetrate the eyes of the blindfolded goddess of justice." Reeve sees no conflict between science and religion; to him the two appear to be complementary. Reeve also nicely contrasts the idealism and expectation of objectivity in scientific pursuits with the destructive passions of regular people: "He at once conceived a bitter and unreasoning hatred for Martin." "The old man still refused resolutely to be reconciled." "The daughter hates me and I hate her." "I could not help wondering at the woman's apparent lack of gratitude." "Instead of appealing to you he hated you." Finally, the contrast between Dr. Kennedy's penetrating insights and the blindness of Mr. Haswell is quite clear and well motivated. The latter is a man who was truly "Blinded by Science" -- like so many people of his era. All in all, Reeve has nicely caught a major paradox of twentieth-century life. At the very time when our knowledge of the world and humankind has been the greatest, the passions of human beings have been the most destructive. This is a profoundly accurate vision of the human condition, I think, and a wisely conservative, cautionary response to the unbridled optimism with which scientific advances were embraced in the early years of this century. Reeve has proven correct in the end, and that makes his stories an even greater pleasure. Best w's, S.T. Karnick End of Gaslight digest.