Famous Mystery Writers and Their Characters: The Poe Edition
Ah, Poe, that clever wordsmith. Imbued with the gift of leaving his readers pleasantly creeped out, it is he we must thank for the creation of some of the literary characters we love most. One of these singular creatures is Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, a mind set to solving crimes before the word detective was even a part of the world.
Among the many delightfully dark writings gifted to our minds from Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), “The Raven” (1845), and countless other works, his character Dupin, which we see featured in three of Poe’s works, is a marvel. Whether solving crimes on a whim for his own personal pleasure or sleuthing for monetary gain, the mechanics of his mind are astounding.
This character is said to be the bones of which the character Sherlock was written. It’s even alluded to in the first Sherlock novel, A Study in Scarlet, in a conversation between Sherlock and Watson. Both Dupin and Sherlock have the innate ability to read people based on nuance, body language, and speech, and have a disturbing tendency to reveal the minds of people who thought their secrets were safe so long as they stayed in their minds. How wrong they were!
The character Dupin set the standard for the traditional “gentleman detective,”— a member of the british gentry, very eccentric and keen minded, that often resided in a british townhouse. Dupin lived with his closest friend, and was eclectic in his hobbies (sound familiar?). He was not very fond of the police, indeed, he usually viewed them as an inconvenience at best.
The motive for choosing to solve the crimes in the three stories is different for Dupin each time, making him even harder to figure out. Poe’s character is the penultimate in rationality and comes off as snobby due to the fact that he did not interact with other people in any kind of normal way due to his heightened sense of observation and constantly churning process of abductive thinking.
All in all, Dupin makes for a fascinating character in a series of skillfully crafted stories. We salute you, Edgar. If you enjoyed this read, keep your sleuthing eyes peeled for the next famous mystery writer and character! If you want to solve a crime of your own, set in motion your own personal night of mystery, intrigue, and murder with The Murder Mystery Company today.