Émile Gaboriau

Émile Gaboriau (9 November 1832 – 28 September 1873) was a French writer, novelist, journalist, and a pioneer of detective fiction.

Émile Gaboriau
Emile Gaboriau BNF Gallica
Born9 November 1832
Saujon, France
Died28 September 1873 (aged 40)
Paris, France
GenreDetective fiction
Notable worksMonsieur Lecoq (1868)

Early life

Gaboriau was born in the small town of Saujon, Charente-Maritime. He was the son of Charles Gabriel Gaboriau, a public official and his mother was Marguerite Stéphanie Gaboriau. Gaboriau became a secretary to Paul Féval, and after publishing some novels and miscellaneous writings, found his real gift in L'Affaire Lerouge (1866).[1]

Literary life

The book, which was Gaboriau's first detective novel, introduced an amateur detective. It also introduced a young police officer named Monsieur Lecoq, who was the hero in three of Gaboriau's later detective novels. The character of Lecoq was based on a real-life thief turned police officer, Eugène François Vidocq (1775–1857), whose own memoirs, Les Vrais Mémoires de Vidocq, mixed fiction and fact. It may also have been influenced by the villainous Monsieur Lecoq, one of the main protagonists of Féval's Les Habits Noirs book series.

The book was published in "Le Siècle" and at once made his reputation. Gaboriau gained a huge following, but when Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes, Monsieur Lecoq's international fame declined. The story was produced on the stage in 1872. A long series of novels dealing with the annals of the police court followed, and proved very popular. Gaboriau died in Paris of pulmonary apoplexy.

Gaboriau's books were generally well received. About The Mystery of the Orcival, Harper's wrote in 1872: "Of its class of romance - French sensational - this is a remarkable and unique specimen".[2] A film version of Le Dossier n° 113 (File No. 113) was released in 1932.[3]

In A Study in Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle has Watson ask Sherlock Holmes what he thinks of Gaboriau. Holmes disparages Lecoq as "a miserable bungler".


Monsieur Lecoq
First edition of Monsieur Lecoq


  • Le treizième Hussards (1861) - The 13th Hussars
  • Mariages d'aventure (1862)
    • Monsieur J.-D. de Saint-Roch, ambassadeur matrimonial - The Matrimonial Ambassador: Monsieur J. D. de Saint-Roch
    • Promesses de mariage - Promises of Marriage
  • Les Gens de Bureau (1862) - The Men of the Bureau
  • Les comédiennes adorées (1863)
  1. L'Affaire Lerouge (1866) - The Widow Lerouge / The Lerouge Affair
  2. Le Crime d'Orcival (1867) - The Mystery of Orcival
  3. Le Dossier n° 113 (1867) - File No. 113 / The Blackmailers
  4. Les Esclaves de Paris (1868, 2 vol.) - Slaves of Paris
  • Le Chantage - Caught in the Net
    • Le Secret de la Maison de Champdoce - The Champdoce Mystery
  1. Monsieur Lecoq (1869, 2 vol.)
  • "A Thousand Francs Reward - A Disappearance"
    • L'Enquête - The Inquiry / Monsieur Lecoq / The Detective's Dilemma
    • L'Honneur du nom - The Honor of the Name / The Detective's Triumph
  • La Vie infernale (1870, 2 vol.) - The Count's Millions
    • Pascal et Marguerite - The Count's Millions
    • Lia d'Argeles - Baron Trigault's Vengeance
  • La Clique dorée (1871) - The Clique of Gold / The Gilded Clique
  • La Dégringolade (1872) - Catastrophe / The Downward Path
  • La Corde au cou (1873) - Rope Around His Neck / In Peril of His Life / In Deadly Peril
  • L'Argent des autres (1874) - Other People's Money / A Great Robbery
  • Le Petit Vieux des Batignolles (1876) - The Little Old Man of Batignolles
  • Le Capitaine Coutanceau (1878) - Captain Coutanceau
  • Une Disparition (1876) - A Disappearance / Missing! / 1000 Francs Reward
  • Maudite maison (1876) - The Unfortunate House
  • Casta vixit (1876) - Love, the Conqueror
  • Amours d'une empoisonneuse (1881) - Intrigues of a Poisoner / An Adventuress of France / The Marquise De Brinvilliers


  • Monsieur Lecoq, directed by Maurice Tourneur (1914, based on the novel Monsieur Lecoq)
  • L'Affaire d'Orcival, directed by Gérard Bourgeois (1914, based on the novel Le Crime d'Orcival)
  • Monsieur Lecoq (1915, based on the novel Monsieur Lecoq), with William Morris as Lecoq
  • The Family Stain, directed by Will S. Davis (1915, based on the novel L'Affaire Lerouge)
  • The Evil Women Do, directed by Rupert Julian (1916, based on the novel La Clique dorée)
  • Le Capitaine noir, directed by Gérard Bourgeois (1917)
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal, directed by William Nigh (1917, based on the novel Le Dossier n° 113)
  • File 113, directed by Chester M. Franklin (1933, based on the novel Le Dossier n° 113), with Lew Cody as Lecoq
  • Monsieur Lecoq (TV series, 35 episodes, 1964–65), with Léo Ilial as Lecoq
  • Nina Gipsy, directed by Claude-Jean Bonnardot (TV film, 1971, based on the novel Le Dossier n° 113), with Henri Lambert as Lecoq
  • Der Strick um den Hals, directed by Wilhelm Semmelroth (TV miniseries, 1975, based on the novel La Corde au cou)
  • Die Affäre Lerouge, directed by Wilhelm Semmelroth (TV film, 1976, based on the novel L'Affaire Lerouge)
  • La Corde au cou, directed by Marcel Moussy (TV miniseries, 1978, based on the novel La Corde au cou)


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gaboriau, Émile" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 381.
  1. ^ "Biography of Emile Gaboriau". online-literature.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "Editor's literary record" (PDF), Harper's Magazine: 781, April 1872
  3. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1932/02/20/archives/a-gaboriau-novel.html

External links

1833 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1833.

1866 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1866.

1867 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1867.

1868 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1868.

1869 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1869.

1873 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1873.

1874 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1874.

File 113

File 113 is a 1933 American mystery film directed by Chester Franklin and starring Lew Cody, Mary Nolan and June Clyde. Monsieur Lecoq, a Parisian detective solves a series of crimes. It is based on a story by the nineteenth century French writer Émile Gaboriau.

Ghurghutiyar Ghatona

Ghurghutiyar Ghatona is one of the crime short stories written by the Academy Award-winning film director Satyajit Ray, featuring the popular Bengali sleuth Feluda. This is the eighth Feluda story overall and is a part of the second 12-story collections of Ray "Aro Ek Dojon". It is one of the few Feluda stories which does not feature Lalmohan Ganguly (Jatayu).

Hippolyte Hostein

Hippolyte Hostein (14 September 1814 – 8 September 1879) was a French playwright, theatre director and theatre manager.

Le Petit Journal (newspaper)

Le Petit Journal was a conservative daily Parisian newspaper founded by Moïse Polydore Millaud; published from 1863 to 1944. Together with Le Petit Parisien, Le Matin, and Le Journal, it was one of the four major French dailies. In 1890, during the Boulangiste crisis, its circulation first reached one million copies. Five years later, it had a circulation of two million copies, making it the world's largest newspaper.


Lecoq is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Karl Ludwig von Lecoq (1754–1829) of French Huguenot ancestry, first joined the army of the Electorate of Saxony, later transferred his loyalty to the Kingdom of Prussia and fought Napoleonic Wars

Karl Christian Erdmann von Lecoq (1767–1830), a Saxon officer who rose to rank lieutenant-general during the Napoleonic Wars and was the commanding officer of the Royal Saxon army

Henri Lecoq (1802–1871), a French botanist

Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1838–1912), a French chemist, discoverer of the chemical elements gallium, samarium and dysprosium

Maurice Lecoq (1854–1925), a French sport shooter who competed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Jacques Lecoq (1921–1999), a French actor, mime and acting instruction

Jacqueline Lecoq (born 1932), French designer who collaborated for many years with Antoine Philippon

Paul Lecoq, Swiss senior physicist at CERN

Les Habits Noirs

Les Habits Noirs is a book series written over a thirty-year period, comprising eleven novels, created by Paul Féval, père, a 19th-century French writer.

By its methods, themes and characters, Les Habits Noirs is the precursor of today's conspiracy and organized crime fiction. Féval's heroes, from Gregory Temple, the first "detective" in modern detective fiction, to Remy d'Arx, the investigative magistrate, are also the first modern characters of their kind.

In 1862, Féval founded the magazine Jean Diable, named after his eponymous Habits Noirs novel, and Émile Gaboriau, future creator of the police detective Monsieur Lecoq, a hero seemingly unrelated to the villainous Lecoq of the Habits Noirs, was his assistant.

List of French novelists

This is a list of novelists from France. Novelists in this list should be notable in some way, and ideally have Wikipedia articles on them.

See also French novelists Category Index.

Honoré d'Urfé (1568–1625)

Charles Sorel (c. 1602–1674)

Madeleine de Scudéry (1607–1701)

Madame de Lafayette (1634–1693), author of La Princesse de Clèves

Alain-René Le Sage (1668–1747)

Pierre de Marivaux (1688–1763)

Voltaire (1694–1778), philosophe, satirist, playwright, author of Candide

Françoise de Graffigny (1695–1758), author of Lettres d'une Péruvienne

Abbé Prévost (1697–1763), author of Manon Lescaut

Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (1707–1777)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), philosophe, author of Julie, or the New Heloise

Denis Diderot (1713–1784), philosophe, author of Rameau's Nephew

Marie Jeanne Riccoboni (1714–1792)

Restif de la Bretonne (1734–1806)

Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737–1814), author of Paul et Virginie

Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), author of "Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man", Justine, The 120 Days of Sodom, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Juliette

Choderlos de Laclos (1741–1803), author of Les liaisons dangereuses

Anne Louise Germaine de Staël (1766–1817)

Benjamin Constant (1767–1830), author of Adolphe

François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), author of Atala and René

Étienne Pivert de Senancour (1770–1846)

Charles Nodier (1780–1844)

Stendhal (1783–1842), author of The Red and the Black, considered by some to be the first modern novel, and The Charterhouse of Parma

Charles Paul de Kock (1793–1871)

Antoinette Henriette Clémence Robert (1797–1872)

Charles Dezobry (1798–1871), historian and historical novelist

Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), author of La Comédie Humaine, a series of novels presenting a full picture of France in the early 19th century

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802–1870), author of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers

Victor Hugo (1802–1885), author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables

Prosper Mérimée (1803–1870), author of Carmen

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (1804–1869)

George Sand (1804–1876), pseudonym of Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baroness Dudevant

Eugène Sue (1804–1857)

Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808–1889)

Alfred de Musset (1810–1857)

Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880), author of Madame Bovary and Sentimental Education

Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896)

Henri Murger (1822–1861), author of Scènes de la vie de bohème

Alexandre Dumas, fils (1824–1895), author of La Dame aux camélias

Edmond About (1828–1885)

Jules Verne (1828–1905), writer of techno-thrillers like Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, and founding father of science fiction

Jules de Goncourt (1830–1870)

Hector Malot (1830–1907)

Émile Gaboriau (1832–1873), pioneer of modern detective fiction

Eugène Le Roy (1836–1907)

Alphonse Daudet (1840–1897)

Émile Zola (1840–1902), naturalist, author of Germinal and Nana

Anatole France (1844–1924)

Léon Bloy (1846–1917)

Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848–1907), author of À rebours and Là-bas

Guy de Maupassant (1850–1893)

Pierre Loti (1850–1923)

Élémir Bourges (1852–1925)

Paul Bourget (1852–1935)

René Bazin (1853–1932)

Adolphe Chenevière (1855–19??)

Maurice Barrès (1862–1923)

Henri de Régnier (1864–1936)

Jules Renard (1864–1910)

Romain Rolland (1866–1944), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1915

Gaston Leroux (1868–1927), author of The Phantom of the Opera and The Mystery of the Yellow Room which is recognized as the first locked room puzzle mystery novel

André Gide (1869–1951)

Henri Bordeaux (1870–1963)

Marcel Proust (1871–1922), author of In Search of Lost Time, sometimes seen as the greatest modernist novel

Colette (1873–1954), best known for Gigi and Chéri

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), satirist, inventor of Pataphysics

Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1937

Louis Pergaud (1882–1915)

Georges Duhamel (1884–1966)

François Mauriac (1885–1970), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1952

Jules Romains (1885–1972)

Alain-Fournier (1886–1914)

Georges Bernanos (1888–1948)

Adrien Bertrand (1888–1917)

Henri Bosco (1888–1976)

Louis Ferdinand Céline (1894–1961), author of Journey to the End of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan or Mort à Crédit

Henri de Montherlant (1895–1972)

Jean Giono (1895–1970)

Julien Green (1900–1998)

Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900–1944)

Nathalie Sarraute (1900–1999)

André Malraux (1901–1976)

Irène Némirovsky (1903–1942), author of Suite française

Raymond Queneau (1903–1976)

Raymond Radiguet (1903–1942)

Marguerite Yourcenar (1903–1987)

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1964

Louise Aslanian (1906–1945), pseudonym "Las", author of "The Way of doubt".

Pauline Réage (1907–1998)

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986)

Paul Berna (1908–1994)

Jean Genet (1910–1986)

Henri Troyat (1911–2007)

Pierre Boulle (1912–1994), author of The Bridge on the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes

Albert Camus (1913–1960), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1957

Gilbert Cesbron (1913–1979)

Claude Simon (1913–2005), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1985

Romain Gary (1914–1980), winner of the Goncourt prize twice, 1956, and 1975 under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar

Marguerite Duras (1914–1996)

Maurice Druon (1918–2009)

Boris Vian (1920–1959)

Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922–2008)

Michel Tournier (born 1924)

Philippe Daudy (1925–1994)

Michel Butor (born 1926)

Sébastien Japrisot (1931–2003)

Emmanuelle Arsan (born 1932)

Régine Deforges (born 1935)

Françoise Sagan (1935–2004)

Georges Perec (1936–1982)

J.M.G. Le Clézio (born 1940), Nobel Prize in Literature, 2008

Nancy Huston (born 1953)

Michel Houellebecq (born 1958), Impact award winner

Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (born 1960)

Charles Dantzig (born 1961)

Pavel Hak (born 1962)

Beatrice Hammer (born 1963)

Monsieur Lecoq

Monsieur Lecoq is the creation of Émile Gaboriau, a 19th-century French writer and journalist. Monsieur Lecoq is a fictional detective employed by the French Sûreté. The character is one of the pioneers of the genre and a major influence on Sherlock Holmes (who, in A Study in Scarlet, calls him "a miserable bungler"), laying the groundwork for the methodical, scientifically minded detective. In French, "Monsieur" is "Mister" and his surname literally means "The Rooster".

In the person of armchair detective Tabaret, nicknamed Père Tireauclair, (lit. Father Bringer of Light, or "Old man Brings-to-light"), a title Lecoq himself will eventually inherit, Gaboriau also created an older mentor for Lecoq who, like Mycroft Holmes and Nero Wolfe, helps the hero solve particularly challenging puzzles while remaining largely inactive physically. In Tabaret's case, aid is dispensed from the comfort of his bed.

Monsieur Lecoq (1914 film)

Monsieur Lecoq is a 1914 French silent mystery film directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Harry Baur.

Monsieur Lecoq (novel)

Monsieur Lecoq is a novel by the nineteenth-century French detective fiction writer Émile Gaboriau, whom André Gide referred to as "the father of all current detective fiction". The novel depicts the first case of Monsieur Lecoq, an energetic young policeman who appears in other novels by Gaboriau.

Police van

A police van (also known as a paddy wagon, patrol wagon, Black Maria or police carrier) is a type of vehicle operated by police forces. Police vans are usually employed for the transportation of prisoners inside a specially adapted cell in the vehicle, or for the rapid transportation of a number of officers to an incident.

The Mystery of Orcival

The Mystery of Orcival (Fr: Le Crime d'Orcival) is an 1867 novel by the 19th century French writer Émile Gaboriau.

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