Paul Féval, père  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Paul Henri Corentin Féval, père (29 September 1816 - 8 March 1887) was a French novelist and dramatist. He was a one of the most important fantastique writers of the period with Les Revenants [Revenants] (1853), La Fille du Juif Errant [The Daughter Of The Wandering Jew] (1864), the macabre La Vampire [The Vampire Countess] (1867), and La Ville Vampire [The Vampire City] (1874) which parodied Ann Radcliffe, making her the book's fictional heroine.

He was the author of popular swashbuckler novels such as Le Loup Blanc (1843) and the perennial best-seller Le Bossu (1857). He also penned the seminal vampire fiction novels Le Chevalier Ténèbre (1860), La Vampire (1865) and La Ville Vampire (1874) and wrote several celebrated novels about his native Brittany and Mont Saint-Michel such as La Fée des Grèves (1850).

Féval's greatest claim to fame, however, is as one of the fathers of modern crime fiction. Because of its themes and characters, his novel Jean Diable (1862) can claim to be the world's first modern novel of detective fiction. His masterpiece was Les Habits Noirs (1863-1875), a criminal saga written over a twelve-year period comprising seven novels.

After losing his fortune in a financial scandal, Féval became a born-again Christian, stopped writing crime thrillers, and began to write religious novels, sadly leaving the tale of the Habits Noirs uncompleted.


Paul Féval, père used Ann Radcliffe as his protagonist in the novel La Ville Vampire (translated as Vampire City).

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