American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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Experiences of a French Detective Officer by William Russell. New York: Dick & Fitgerald, 1864. 161-218.

This collection was originally published in England in 1861 under the pseudonym of Thomas Waters and claimed to be an adaptation from a manuscript by Théodore Duhamel, yet another pseudonym.

Monsieur Baudrain’s Niece

The army, I need hardly say, was thoroughly imbued with Idées Napoleoniennes, in the true sense, it must be understood, of ruthless conquest and domination, contemptuously careless of the coloured cobwebs with which their now triumphant expositor has successfully sought to transfigure in the eyes of fools, the degrading atrocity of a system, of which the composing elements are simply brute force and liveried servitude.
Only “les hautes Intelligences,” and the timid bourgeosie of wealthy cities, were professedly loyal to the citizen king,—these last chiefly from an instinctive dread of change,—whilst all, or nearly all, apologised for cold allegiance, by pointing to the necessity, in presence of so many perils, of supporting Louis Philippe, “Quoique Bourbon,” (although a Bourbon,) Those who avowed loyalty to the actual monarch,  “Parceque Bourbon,” (because a . . .


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PASSING over years marked by adventures that I may publish at some future time, but which relate like the foregoing papers, to the active French Detective Policeman in its legitimate sphere, I arrive at a curious story, in which the political element comes into play, though not strongly and exclusively, as in the two following histoirettes.

In 1847, there was great agitation in “the Capital of Civilisation,” as we love to designate Paris. Amongst other sources of anxiety, the attempt at Boulogne had disquieted men’s minds. The “Legend” of Bonapartism into which the songs of Béranger—

“Parlez nous de lui grandmère,
Parlez nous de lui—”

and the writings of Thiers, Mignet, and others had breathed new life, was found to be a religion with the mass of Frenchmen, and of far greater potency than that of Calvary preached by priests, to careless, indifferent





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