6906105995113215851.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
7865781170005778839.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
6297086948178282154.jpg
Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab single work   novel  
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Issue Details: First known date: 1886... 1886
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Set in the charming and deadly streets of Melbourne, this vivid and brilliantly plotted murder thriller tells the story of a crime committed by an unknown assassin. With its panoramic depiction of a bustling yet uneasy city, Hansom Cab has a central place in Australian literary history and, more importantly, it remains highly readable. ' (Publication summary)

Adaptations

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume , Arthur Law , 1888 single work drama
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab aka Midnight Melbourne George Darrell , 1888 single work drama

Stage version of Fergus Hume's novel of the same name.

form y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Australia : Amalgamated Pictures , 1911 Z824955 1911 single work film/TV detective crime Based on Fergus Hume's popular 1886 novel, the story begins with the murder of a playboy, Oliver White, who is on his way home late one night in a hansom cab. The various scenes are then played out in front of well-known Melbourne landmarks, including the Orient Hotel, the Melbourne Club, the St Kilda Esplanade, Melbourne Gaol, and several prominent St Kilda homes.
form y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Eliot Stannard , United Kingdom (UK) : British & Colonial Kinematograph Company , 1915 6612492 1915 single work film/TV crime detective

British adaptation of Fergus Hume's novel.

form y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Arthur Shirley , Australia : Pyramid Pictures , 1925 6336151 1925 single work film/TV crime mystery

The second Australian film based on Fergus Hume's best-selling novel; the first had been released in 1911. (A British film had also been made in 1915.)

y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Michael Hardwick , United Kingdom (UK) : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) , 1950 Z824957 1950 single work radio play

BBC radio adaptation of Fergus Hume's novel.

y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Bruce Stewart , United Kingdom (UK) : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) , 1958 6613096 1958 series - publisher radio play detective crime

The second of two BBC radio adaptations of Fergus Hume's novel.

For episode titles, broadcast dates, and synopses, see Notes.

y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Barry Pree , 1961 Z824963 1961 single work musical theatre Play with music.
form y The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Glen Dolman , Australia : Burberry Productions , 2012 Z1872562 2012 single work film/TV crime

'The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a tightly plotted murder thriller, a massive best seller that was a forerunner to Sherlock Holmes. As much a study of sophisticated 19th century Melbourne as it is of its captivating characters, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a compelling telemovie with a surprise ending that no-one will guess.'

Source: Burberry Productions website, http://www.burberry.com.au/
Sighted: 09/07/2012

Notes

  • Also available as a sound recording and in large print format. Study notes available.
  • A 1917 animated film, made in the US and titled The Great Hansom Cab Mystery, is sometimes said to be an adaptation of Hume's novel, but this cannot be verified.
  • Dedication:

    To

    James Payne,

    Novelist,

    This Story

    is

    Dedicated,

    In Grateful Acknowledgement of

    His Kind Encouragement to

    The Author

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 1999 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Fergus Hume's Startling Story, Simon Caterson , 1886-1999 single work criticism (p. v-xiv)
* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,: Sydney University Press , 2010 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction : The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Robert Dixon , 1886-2010 single work criticism (p. i-xiv)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Hansom Cab Co. ,
      1887 .
      6906105995113215851.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Alternative title: The Mystery of a Hansom Cab : A Startling and Realistic Story of Melbourne Social Life
      Extent: 230p.
      Note/s:
      • Written as Fergus W. Hume
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Worthington Company ,
      1889 .
      Extent: 284p.
      Edition info: Franklin ed.
      Note/s:
      • Written as Fergus W. Hume.
    • Cleveland, Ohio,
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Arthur Westbrook ,
      1890 .
      Extent: 246p.
      Note/s:
      • Written as F. W. Hume.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      J. W. Lovell ,
      1890-1899 .
      Alternative title: The Mystery of a Hansom Cab : A Startling and Realistic Story of Melbourne Social Life
      Extent: 240p.
      Edition info: Caxton ed.
      Note/s:
      • Written as Fergus W. Hume.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Trischler ,
      1891 .
      Extent: 231p.
      Note/s:
      • Written as Fergus W. Hume.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Jarrold ,
      1896 .
      Extent: 322p.
      Edition info: Rev. ed.
      Reprinted: 1890-1899 With preface and illustrations.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Pearson ,
      1908 .
      Alternative title: The Mystery of a Hansom Cab : A Startling and Realistic Story of Melbourne Social Life
      Extent: 122p.
      Edition info: Pearson's sixpenny novels
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Arrow Books ,
      1959 .
      Extent: 224p.
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Sun Books , 1971 .
      Extent: 224p.
      ISBN: 0725101172
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Arno Press ,
      1976 .
      Extent: 322p.
      Note/s:
      • Written as Fergus Wright Hume.
      ISBN: 0405078781
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Remploy ,
      1980 .
      Extent: 224p.
      ISBN: 070660864X
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Dover ,
      1982 .
      Extent: 254p.
      ISBN: 0486219569 (pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Hogarth Press ,
      1985 .
      Extent: 224p.
      ISBN: 0701210133 (pbk.)
    • Stepney, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters area, Adelaide - North / North East, Adelaide, South Australia,: Axiom , 2001 .
      Extent: 224p.
      ISBN: 1864760702
      Series: Australian Experience Axiom (publisher), series - publisher
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2001 .
      7865781170005778839.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xiv, 309p.p.
      Edition info: New ed.
      ISBN: 1877008001
    • Rowville, Ferntree Gully area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Five Mile Press , 2005 .
      Extent: 261p.
      ISBN: 1741244285
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      6297086948178282154.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: xviii, 410p.p.
      Note/s:
      ISBN: 9781921922220 (pbk.)
      Series: y Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)
Alternative title: En Brottmalshistoria. Skildring Ur Australiens Hogre Sallskapslif
Language: Swedish

Works about this Work

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, the Classic Adaptation and the Australian Canon Chris Louttit , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Adaptation , March vol. 9 no. 1 2016; (p. 58-67)
'Since it burst onto the literary scene in 1886, the reception history of Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab has been uneven. Initially a huge success with readers, the text also strongly influenced Australian crime fiction in the 1880s and 1890s. As the twentieth century wore on, however, its critical reputation fell away, only to re-cover more recently as attention returned to popular crime fiction. As a result, the novel might not seem an obvious, straightforwardly canonical, source for a major adaptation produced by the national broadcaster. This essay argues, however, that as a text poised between the classifications of ‘popular bestseller’ and ‘classic’, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab was a surprisingly attractive proposition as a new classic adaptation for the adapters who produced it for the ABC in 2012. The essay explains why this was the case, analysing the meanings and effects of the telemovie in relation to several different frames, including recent developments in the contextualisation of the classic adaptation genre, the production context of Australian television drama in this period, and other generically similar historical series screened just before it. In this particular case study, the adaptation’s relationship with these cultural and generic networks is shown to be more significant than the status of the source text.' (Publication extract)
Australia’s First Literary Sensation Simon Caterson , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 27-28 June 2015; (p. 30) The Saturday Age , 27-28 June 2015; (p. 30)

— Review of Blockbuster! : Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab Lucy Sussex 2015 single work biography ; The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
y Blockbuster! : Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab Lucy Sussex , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015 8540074 2015 single work biography

'Before there was Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there was Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab—the biggest- and fastest-selling detective novel of the 1800s, and Australia’s first literary blockbuster.

'Fergus Hume was an aspiring playwright when he moved from Dunedin to Melbourne in 1885. He wrote The Mystery of a Hansom Cab with the humble hope of bringing his name to the attention of theatre managers. The book sold out its first run almost instantly and it became a runaway word-of-mouth phenomenon—but its author sold the copyright for a mere fifty pounds, missing out on a potential fortune.

'Blockbuster! is the engrossing story of a book that would help define the genre of crime fiction, and a portrait of a great city in full bloom. Rigorously researched and full of arresting detail, this captivating book is a must-read for all fans of true crime, history and crime fiction alike.' (Publication summary)

Towards a Genealogy of Minor Colonial Australian Character Types Ken Gelder , Rachael Weaver , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Interventions : International Journal of Postcolonial Studies , January vol. 17 no. 2 2015; (p. 211-228)
Review of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume Jennifer Osborn , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , November vol. 7 no. 1 2014;

— Review of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
In Short : Fiction Michael McGirr , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 January 2006; (p. 22)

— Review of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
Murder Mystery Abides Philip O'Brien , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Times , 26 April 2009; (p. 22)

— Review of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
The Author of 'Madame Midas' 1888 single work review
— Appears in: Illustrated London News , 6 October 1888; (p. 410)

— Review of Madame Midas : A Realistic and Sensational Story of Australian Mining Life Fergus Hume 1888 single work novel ; The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
Untitled Ruby Murray , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 27)

— Review of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
Reading Melbourne Peter Craven , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 23 April 1995; (p. 8)

— Review of Take Me to Paris, Johnny John Foster 1993 single work autobiography ; The Cardboard Crown Martin Boyd 1952 single work novel ; The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel ; The Nightmarkets : A Novel Alan Wearne 1986 sequence novel ; The Life and Death of Sandy Stone Barry Humphries 1990 single work drama ; The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Fergus Hume 1886 single work novel
Past Masters of Future Wrongs Michael Pollak , Margaret MacNabb , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6-7 September 2003; (p. 2-3)
Reflecting the Detectives : Crime Fiction and the New Journalism in Late Nineteenth-Century Australia Rachael Weaver , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 22 no. 1 2005; (p. 61-72)
Examines patterns in the relationship between newspaper accounts of sensational crimes and crime fiction published in the late 1880s.
Death of Fergus Hume 1932 single work obituary (for Fergus Hume )
— Appears in: All About Books , 12 September vol. 4 no. 9 1932; (p. 143)
Popular Reading Taste During the Century 1935 single work prose
— Appears in: All About Books , 12 April vol. 7 no. 4 1935; (p. 63-64)
Some Early Australian Novels Valuable 1936 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 13 January vol. 8 no. 1 1936; (p. 9)
Last amended 7 Jun 2016 13:59:35
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