As a writer, Edgar Wallace was known for his prolific output and his enduring influence on the mystery and detective fiction genres. Over his lifetime, he produced hundreds of works, including novels, short stories, and plays. His writing style was fast-paced, often featuring complex plots and vivid characters. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the life and legacy of Edgar Wallace, as well as some of his most thrilling and exotic works. So, let’s dive in!
The Life and Legacy of Edgar Wallace
Edgar Wallace was a prolific writer and journalist born in London, England in 1875. His father was an actor and his mother was a ballerina, so it’s no surprise that he had a natural talent for storytelling. Wallace’s early career was spent working as a journalist and war correspondent, traveling around the world and reporting on some of the major conflicts of his time.
Early Life and Career
Despite his success as a journalist, Wallace struggled financially in his early career as a writer. He wrote his first novel, The Four Just Men, in 1905, but it wasn’t until 1911 that he achieved widespread recognition for his work. That year, he published a novel called Sanders of the River, which became a bestseller and launched a series of novels featuring the character of Commissioner Sanders. This series was set in Africa, where Wallace had spent time as a journalist and had developed a fascination with the continent and its people.
In addition to his work as a journalist and novelist, Wallace was also a prolific playwright. He wrote more than 170 plays over the course of his career, many of which were produced in London’s West End. His play The Ringer, which premiered in 1926, was a huge success and was adapted into several films.
Prolific Writing and Lasting Impact
Despite his success as a writer, Wallace’s life was far from easy. He suffered from chronic health problems and was a heavy drinker. He also struggled to manage his finances and was known for his extravagant lifestyle. Nevertheless, he continued to write prolifically, producing dozens of novels and plays over the course of his career.
Wallace’s detective fiction soon became his most popular and enduring work. He created several iconic detectives, including J.G. Reeder, Inspector Elk, and Superintendent Minter, who appeared in many of his novels and short stories. His most famous creation, however, was the character of J.G. Reeder, who appeared in several novels and short stories and was known for his unconventional methods of solving crimes.
Today, Edgar Wallace is remembered as one of the most influential writers of the mystery and detective fiction genres. His work has inspired countless authors and filmmakers, and his legacy continues to live on. His novels and stories have been adapted into numerous films, TV shows, and radio programs, and his influence can be seen in the work of writers and filmmakers around the world.
In conclusion, Edgar Wallace was a talented and prolific writer who made a lasting impact on the mystery and detective fiction genres. Despite his struggles with health and finances, he continued to write and create memorable characters and stories that continue to captivate readers and audiences today.
The Thrilling World of Edgar Wallace’s Detective Fiction
Edgar Wallace was a prolific writer who dabbled in many different genres, but it is his detective fiction that has stood the test of time. His stories are known for their intricate plots, memorable characters, and thrilling action scenes that keep readers on the edge of their seats.
The Four Just Men Series
The Four Just Men were a group of vigilantes who sought justice outside the confines of the law. They were a complex group of characters, each with their own motivations and sense of justice. Their methods were often controversial, as they were not afraid to use violence to achieve their goals. However, they were also known for their cunning and intelligence, which made them formidable opponents for anyone who crossed them.
One of the most memorable aspects of the Four Just Men series was its intricate plotting. Wallace was a master of suspense, and he knew how to keep readers guessing until the very end. Each story was filled with twists and turns that kept readers on their toes, and the tension never let up until the final page.
The Mind of Mr. J.G. Reeder Series
If the Four Just Men were known for their brawn, then J.G. Reeder was known for his brains. He was a detective who relied on his intelligence and powers of deduction to solve crimes. Unlike many detectives of the time, Reeder was not known for his physical prowess or bravery, but rather for his ability to outthink his opponents.
One of the most interesting things about the J.G. Reeder series was the character of Reeder himself. He was a man of contradictions, with a sharp mind but a nervous disposition. He was often underestimated by his opponents, who saw him as a harmless bureaucrat. But Reeder always managed to surprise them with his cleverness and ingenuity.
The Green Archer Series
The Green Archer was a masked vigilante who sought to bring criminals to justice. He was known for his agility and athleticism, as well as his skill with a bow and arrow. The series was filled with exciting action scenes, as the Green Archer battled criminals and evaded the police.
One of the most memorable aspects of the Green Archer series was its fast-paced plotting. Wallace knew how to keep the story moving, and he never let the action slow down for a moment. Each chapter was filled with new twists and turns, as the Green Archer raced to uncover the truth and bring the criminals to justice.
Overall, Edgar Wallace’s detective fiction is a thrilling and entertaining world that has captivated readers for generations. Whether you prefer the vigilante justice of the Four Just Men, the intellectual prowess of J.G. Reeder, or the action-packed adventures of the Green Archer, there is something for everyone in Wallace’s world of crime and mystery.
Exploring the Exotic and Mysterious in Wallace’s Novels
In addition to his detective fiction, Edgar Wallace was known for his many novels set in exotic and mysterious locales. These novels took readers on thrilling adventures to far-off lands, where danger and excitement lurked around every corner.
The Sanders of the River Series
One of Wallace’s most famous series was the Sanders of the River series, which followed the adventures of Commissioner Sanders as he navigated the complex political landscape of colonial Africa. The series was known for its vivid descriptions of African culture and landscapes, transporting readers to a world that was both beautiful and dangerous.
Through the pages of these novels, readers were able to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Africa, from the bustling markets of Lagos to the vast savannas of the interior. They met colorful characters, both good and bad, and witnessed the struggles of the native peoples against the forces of colonialism.
The African Adventures of Commissioner Sanders
Another series that Wallace wrote, The African Adventures of Commissioner Sanders, followed Sanders as he traveled around Africa, encountering all manner of danger and adventure. These novels were known for their exciting action scenes and exotic locales, taking readers on a rollercoaster ride through the heart of Africa.
From the deserts of the Sahara to the jungles of the Congo, Sanders faced countless challenges and obstacles, always emerging victorious thanks to his quick thinking and bravery. Along the way, he encountered fierce animals, treacherous terrain, and nefarious villains, all of which made for thrilling reading.
The Yellow Snake and Other Standalone Novels
Aside from his series, Wallace also wrote many standalone novels set in exotic locales. One such novel was The Yellow Snake, which was set in Egypt and followed the adventures of a group of explorers as they uncovered the secrets of a mysterious tomb.
In this novel, readers were transported to the land of the pharaohs, where danger and intrigue awaited at every turn. The explorers faced deadly traps, ancient curses, and rival treasure hunters as they sought to uncover the tomb’s secrets, making for a gripping and suspenseful read.
Overall, Wallace’s novels set in exotic and mysterious locales were beloved by readers for their thrilling adventures, vivid descriptions, and colorful characters. They remain popular to this day, transporting readers to far-off lands and immersing them in worlds that are both fascinating and dangerous.
The Best Standalone Edgar Wallace Books
In addition to his series, Edgar Wallace also wrote many standalone novels. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Man Who Knew
The Man Who Knew is a thrilling novel set in London. The story revolves around a master criminal who is determined to get his revenge on those who have wronged him in the past. The novel is known for its intricate plotting and tense action scenes. The main character, Robert Farrant, is a man with a hidden past who is drawn into the dangerous world of the criminal underworld. As he races against time to stop the criminal mastermind, Farrant must use all of his wits and cunning to stay alive.
The novel is set against the backdrop of London in the early 20th century. Wallace’s descriptions of the city are vivid and atmospheric, bringing the bustling metropolis to life. From the dark alleys of the East End to the elegant mansions of the West End, Wallace paints a picture of a city on the brink of change.
The Clue of the Twisted Candle
The Clue of the Twisted Candle is a classic locked-room mystery, featuring a wealthy man who is found dead in his study, with no visible signs of how he died. The novel is known for its complex plotting and surprising twists and turns. The main character, John Lexman, is a writer who becomes embroiled in the mystery when he is accused of the murder.
The novel is set in the English countryside, and Wallace’s descriptions of the landscape are breathtaking. From the rolling hills to the quaint villages, Wallace captures the beauty of rural England. The novel also explores the social dynamics of the time, with the wealthy and powerful pitted against the less fortunate.
The Daffodil Mystery
The Daffodil Mystery is a thrilling novel featuring a young woman who finds herself embroiled in a complex web of intrigue and danger. The novel is known for its fast-paced plotting and exciting action scenes. The main character, Rosamund Shane, is a young woman with a mysterious past who is drawn into a world of danger when she becomes involved with a group of criminals.
The novel is set in London and Wallace’s descriptions of the city are once again vivid and atmospheric. From the smoky pubs to the elegant ballrooms, Wallace captures the essence of the city. The novel also explores the role of women in society, with Rosamund Shane defying traditional gender roles to become a strong and independent character.
Overall, these three standalone novels by Edgar Wallace are excellent examples of his storytelling prowess. With complex plots, memorable characters, and vivid descriptions, these novels are sure to delight fans of the thriller and mystery genres.
Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to Edgar Wallace’s work, there’s no denying the enduring appeal of his writing. From his thrilling detective fiction to his exotic and mysterious standalone novels, Edgar Wallace’s work continues to captivate readers today. So why not pick up one of his books and discover for yourself the magic of Edgar Wallace’s writing?
How did Edgar Wallace start his career as a writer?
During the Second Boer War, Wallace worked as a war correspondent for both Reuters and the Daily Mail. However, he had to return to London after amassing large debts in South Africa. He began to write thrillers to earn a regular income.
When did Edgar Wallace die?
Wallace died in 1932 at the age of 56. He passed away shortly after being diagnosed with diabetes.
What is Edgar Wallace’s bestselling novel?
Sanders of the River, which was published in 1911, was Wallace’s bestselling novel and spawned a series of novels, all of which featured Commissioner Sanders.