[Malcolm Elwin, biographer. critic; Detective Fiction; bibliography] Holograph Manuscript entitled The Vogue of the Detective Story Signed T.M.E.11/11/26. WITH: holograph review of new edn ( Collins, c.1930?) of The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Malcolm Elwin [( 1903-1973), prolific biographer, literary critic and editor.
Publication details: 
[1926]. N.B. The Golden Age of the Detective Story usually spans the 20s and 30s, so Elwin is perhaps the first analyst of the genre..
SKU: 23592

Pp.1, 2, 4 [missing 3] with additional unnumbered page entitled bibliography of [...] the Detective Story, folio, connected with stud creating hole which only marginally affects the text, good condition. Lightly corrected MS. An early, pioneering study of the genre as it developed, as a phenomenon similar to literary predecessors (Elizabethan drama). He associates the craze for the detective story with the (post) First World War, but (obviously) finds topoi in Sherlcok Holmes and Murders in the Rue Morgue, citing R. Austen Freeman, whose stock investigator is a medical jurist, who combines an intimate knowledge of the law with an application of advanced scientific systems. The plot is worked out syllogistically in a manner so minutely accurate as would have won the approval of the logical Jevons or John Stuart Mill. He then discusses the genre in terms of the characteristic content of authors: Le Queux, E. Phillips Oppenheim, Edgar Wallace (seeking 'thrills' like the Gothic novel). The public, he says, appear similar to the readers of Mrs Radclkiffe and The Castle of Otranto (apparently quoting someone else he says, raised on the structural scheme of the modern detective novel). He then explores the plot in detective novels, No plot in fiction is so fascinating, so complex, and yet so simple as that of the detective novel [...], citing that of A.E. W. Mason's The House of the Arrow. AT THIS POINT, page 2 concludes with the words The blackmailer, to be continued on the missing page 3. P.4 commences with complimentary words about Chesterton (obviously continuing the agument in the missing page), saying The creation of the character of Father Brown is a triumph in detective fiction, entering an explanation of that claim. He then speculates that It is possible the fact that the scope of the detective story is as wide as its circle of readers which accounts for the neglect of this form of fiction by our literary critics [...] the time has come when the detective story has so far asserted itself as to leave its mark on literary history. He then speculates on who will be in University courses. Poe will be read as a matter of course, Gaboriau though a foreigner, Wilkie Collins (two novels already classics. Then he names later writers : Mason, Chesterton, Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, winding down to conclude there is no doubt that the writers of detective stories have made a notable contribution, not only to fiction, but to literature. The one-page bibliography (The following bibliography may be found useful to students of the detective story) starts with Poe, includes authors mentioned above, adding Bramah, Sax Rohmer, John Ironside, A.K. Green, J.S. Fletcher, and some now obscure. The review of The Murders in the Rue Morgue, one page, folio, edges with small closed tears, text apparently complete, lightly correct and with additions. e comments on Poe's mastery of he short story, expalining why it is the greatest of detective stories. It does howver require the reader to use one's intellect, adding The story is mental aperitif. He concludes The ['author' elided] creator of Sherlock Holmes is often proclaimed the disciple of Gaboriau, but Poe seems to have been the master of both [...]Notes: A. Dorothy L. Sayers does not figure in this essay. She had only published two books when this essay was written. Nor Margery Allingham who had yet to publish; B. Presumably this is the earliest attempt to define the burgeoning Golden Age and give Detective fiction academic respectability with literary parallels and a pioneering bibliography; C. I have been unable to establish whether these were published.