When you hear the word “detective”, who comes to mind? Sherlock Holmes? Nancy Drew? Dick Tracy? Scooby Doo? All are certainly worthy of the title. And I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people who don’t consider Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes the quintessential deducing detective.
We first meet Sherlock in 1887. His premiere case is “A Study in Scarlet”. But 46 years earlier, the world was introduced to the very FIRST literary ‘detective’ — C. Auguste Dupin — in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”.
Poe has been called the “father of the detective story”, inventing a sharp-witted, observant ‘detective’ character before the word “detective” even existed.
Edgar was born the 19th of January, 1809, and to celebrate Poe’s 207th birthday, I spent part of yesterday afternoon curled up with my gorgeous Canterbury Classics edition of “Edgar Allan Poe: Stories and Poems”, rereading “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, and finding myself surprised at just how shockingly similar Sherlock Holmes is to Monsieur Dupin. Continue reading