la storia del “mystery” – un primo esempio

The Notting Hill Mystery first appeared – in serial form (= a puntate) – on the pages of the magazine Once A Week on 27 December 1862, illustrated by George du Maurier, grandfather of the famous writer Dafne Du Maurier (books: Rebecca, The Birds…). The author of this novel remained unknown for many years. The signature Charles Felix was a pseudonym (= pseudonimo). In 1952 William Buckler suggested that it could be
Charles Warren Adams (1833-1903), a lawyer, author of various mystery novels under a pseudonym. The hypothesis was supported by other critics.
Now Notting Hill Mystery is considered the first example of modern Detective Story .
The story is about the investigation of insurance investigator (= investigatore assicurativo) Ralph Henderson who builds a case (= costruisce un caso) against Baron “R___”, suspected his wife’s murder. The woman apparently died after drinking a bottle of acid, while sleepwalking (= dormendo nel sonno) in her husband’s laboratory. The detective suspects the baron because he has recently purchased (= comprato) five life insurance policies (= assicurazioni sulla vita) for his wife. While investigating, Henderson discovers three murders. The reader understands that the Baron is guilty (= colpevole) , but it seems to be impossible to find evidences (= prove) against him….
The novel is quite innovative for the period. The truth is disclosed (= rivelata) by reading diaries, letters, depositions, chemical analysts report, crime scene map (= scene del crimine), technique which became common in the early 1900s.
For a long period the book was neglected (= dimenticato): only in 2012, on the 150th anniversary of the novel release (= pubblicazione), it has been reprinted using photographs of the original 1863 edition,.