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Additional resources for 100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction (Magill's Choice)
Like members of other powerful and arbitrary organizations, Balzac’s policemen were shown to be relentless in their missions and cruel in their vengeance. Thus, he was less interested in police work as such than in the psychological study of policemen of genius—not only for their Machiavellian cynicism and superior understanding of people, but also for their quest to dominate and rule the world. Such theories of vast conspiratorial associations and of intellectual power influenced later novelists, including Fyodor Dostoevski, Maurice Leblanc, Pierre Souvestre, Marcel Allain, and Ian Fleming, among others.
Principal mystery and detective fiction novels: Les Chouans, 1829 (The Chouans 1890); Histoire des treize, 1833-1835 (The Thirteen, 1885-1886; also as The History of the Thirteen); Le Père Goriot, 1835 (Father Goriot, 1844; also as Daddy Goriot, Old Goriot, and Père Goriot); Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes, 1838-1847 (The Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans, 1895); Une Ténébreuse Affaire, 1841 (An Historical Mystery, 1891; also as The Gondreville Mystery). Other major works novels: L’Héritage de Birague, 1822 (with Le Poitevin de Saint-Alme and Ètienne Arago); Jean-Louis: Ou, La Fille trouvée, 1822 (with Le Poitevin de Saint-Alme); Clotilde de Lusignan: Ou, Le Beau Juif, 1822; Le Vicaire des Ardennes, 1822; Le Centenaire: Ou, Les Deux Béringheld, 1822 (also as Le Sorcier; The Centenarian: Or, The Two Beringhelds, 1976); La Dernière Fée: Ou, La Nouvelle Lampe merveilleuse, 1823; Annette et le criminel, 1824 (also as Argow le pirate); WannChlore, 1825 (also as Jane la pâle); La Comédie humaine, 1829-1848 (The Comedy of Human Life, 1885-1893, 1896; also as The Human Comedy), includes Physiologie du mariage (Physiology of Marriage), Un Èpisode sous la terreur (An Episode Under the Terror), El Verdugo (The Executioner), Ètude de femme (A Study of Woman), La Vendetta (The Vendetta), Gobseck (English translation), Le Bal de Sceaux (The Ball at Sceaux), La Maison du chat-qui-pelote (The House of the Cat and Racket), Une Double Famille (A Double Family), La Paix du ménage (The Peace of the Household), Adieu (English translation), L’Èlixir de longue vie (The Elixir of Long Life), Une Passion dans le désert (A Passion in the Desert), Sarrasine (English translation), Sur Catherine de Médicis (Catherine de Medici), La Peau de chagrin (The Wild Ass’s Skin; also as The Fatal Skin), L’Enfant maudit (The Cursed Child), Le Réquisitionnaire (The Conscript), Les Proscrits (The Exiles), L’Auberge rouge (The Red Inn), Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu (The Hidden Masterpiece), Jésus-Christ en Flandre (A Miracle in Flanders), Maître Cornélius (Master Cornelius), Le Colonel Honoré de Balzac 21 Chabert (Colonel Chabert), Louis Lambert (English translation), Le Message (The Message), Madame Firmiani (English translation), La Grande Bretèche (The Grande Breteche), La Bourse (The Purse), Le Curé de Tours (The Curé de Tours), La Femme abandonnée (The Deserted Mistress), La Grenadière (English translation), La Femme de trente ans (A Woman of Thirty), Autre Ètude de femme (Another Study of Woman), Les Marana (Mother and Daughter), Le Médecin de campagne (The Country Doctor), Eugénie Grandet (Eugenia Grandet, also as Eugénie Grandet), Une Blonde (with Horace Raisson), L’Illustre Gaudissart (The Illustrious Gaudissart), La Recherche de l’absolu (The Philosopher’s Stone; also as The Quest for the Absolute and Balthazar: Or, Science and Love), Un Drame au bord de la mer (A Seashore Drama), Le Contrat de mariage (The Marriage Contract), Séraphita (Seraphita), Melmoth réconcilié (Melmoth Converted), L’Interdiction (The Commission in Lunacy), Le Lys dans la vallée (The Lily of the Valley), La Vieille Fille (The Old Maid), Le Cabinet des antiques (The Cabinet of Antiquities), La Messe de l’athée (The Atheist’s Mass), Facino Cane (Facino Cane), Les Employés (Bureaucracy), L’Excommuniée (with Ferdinand de Gramont), Histoire de la grandeur et de la décadence de César Birotteau (History of the Grandeur and Downfall of César Birotteau; also as The Rise and Fall of César Birotteau), Gambara (English translation), Illusions perdues (Lost Illusions), La Maison Nucingen (The House of Nucingen), Une Fille d’Ève (A Daughter of Eve), Béatrix (English translation), Le Curé de village (The Village Rector; also as The Country Parson), Massimilla Doni (English translation), Les Secrets de la princesse de Cadignan (The Secrets of la Princesse de Cadignan), Pierrette (English translation), Pierre Grassou (English translation), Z.
Goodness, as John Milton and others have found, is harder to embody than evil. Mabel Manderson in less talented hands would have become a stock character, but in Bentley’s, she is the ideal woman, fair and caring and moral. In turning her back on a vast fortune for love, she follows her heart as blithely as Trent by his chivalrous behavior toward her follows the public-school ethic of his day, an ethic which a year later would accompany the doomed young officer conscripts into the trenches and later still the young fighter pilots into the Battle of Britain.
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