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y separately published work icon The Mystery of a Hansom Cab single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1886... 1886 The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
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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)

Exhibitions

8014700
8014658

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 separately published work icon The Mystery of a Hansom Cab ( dir. W. J. Lincoln ) 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 separately published work icon The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Eliot Stannard , ( dir. Harold Weston ) 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 separately published work icon The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Arthur Shirley , ( dir. 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.)

form y separately published work icon 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.

form y separately published work icon 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 separately published work icon The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Barry Pree , 1961 1961 Z824963 1961 single work musical theatre Play with music.
form y separately published work icon The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Glen Dolman , ( dir. Shawn Seet ) 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 , 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 , single work criticism (p. i-xiv)
* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Text Publishing , 2012 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, Simon Caterson , essay

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: En Brottmalshistoria. Skildring Ur Australiens Hogre Sallskapslif
Language: Swedish

Works about this Work

清末民初的澳大利亚文学翻译 Yuzhen Zhao , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: 国外文学 , vol. [2019] no. 2 2019; (p. 46-54)
According to the newly discovered literature,as early as 1898,a short story titled "Uncle Joe’s Legacy"written by Guy Newell Boothby,an Australian novelist,was published in The North-China Herald and Supreme Court & Consular Gazette,an English magazine published in Shanghai. However,the first Australian literary work translated into Chinese is a detective story The Mystery of A Hansom Cab written by Fergus Hume. In all,twenty Australian literary works were translated into Chinese in the late Qing Dynasty and the early years of the Republic of China. Among them nineteen were regarded as British or American literature. These translations marked the beginning of the translation history of Australian literature in China and had a pioneering significance for the early exchanges between Chinese and Australian literatures. (Source: publisher's abstract)
From Hotbeds of Depravity to Hidden Treasures : The Narrative Evolution of Melbourne’s Laneways 2019 single work
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , June no. 55 2019;
'Places are both sustained and shaped by the stories we tell about them. In turn, stories of place are influenced by cultural, political, and socioeconomic forces. A form of ‘unplanned’ urban architecture, over almost two centuries Melbourne’s inner-city laneways have been inscribed with multiple layers of narrative. This paper tracks the unfolding tensions around these evolving urban spaces, from Melbourne’s founding up until the present day. Drawing upon site visits, theorists of place, narrative and memory, and analysis of select historical and contemporary texts, the articles explores how the uses of Melbourne’s back lanes have changed over time, and how these changes have been both reflected in, and influenced by, narratives of place. From their genesis as makeshift service lanes, to their early reputation as sites of moral disorder; from shanty towns to celebrated tourist destinations; from public health risks to sites of urban renewal and cultural memorialisation – the transformation of these atmospheric passageways illustratesthe fluid and contested nature of place, and its intrinsic yet unstable relationship with narrative. In considering how narrative has been deployed to stake or negate claims to the laneways, the article traces the role and impact of various actors: government, social reformers, slum residents, novelists, journalists and media outlets, business interests, street artists, and people experiencing homelessness. Melbourne’s inner-urban back lanes emerge as liminal sites where questions of spatial exclusion, cultural capital, and belonging are navigated in complex and shifting ways.' 

 (Publication abstract)

Collecting the Criminal : Murder and Mayhem in Cultural Institutions Rachel Franks , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Popular Culture , 1 March vol. 7 no. 1 2018; (p. 41-58)
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)
Community, Difference, Context : (Re)reading the Contact Zone Jennifer Wawrzinek , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literature in the German Democratic Republic : Reading through the Iron Curtain 2016; (p. 71-90)
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
[Review] The Mystery of a Hansom Cab 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 11 Oct 2018 12:40:48
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