Revelations of a Lady Detective

William Stephens Hayward

William Stephens Hayward

Distributed for British Library

With an Introduction by Mike Ashley
278 pages | 5 1/4 x 7 1/2 | © 2013
Paper $15.00 ISBN: 9780712358965 Published March 2013 For sale in North and South America only
In nineteenth-century London, middle-class women did not engage in what were seen as “unladylike activities.” There were many jobs that a woman simply could not be expected to do because they were viewed as unsuitable for finer female sensibilities. The idea of a woman being involved in the murkiness of criminal detection must have seemed a radical and adventurous one in Victorian times: women simply did not do that sort of thing. And yet, in 1864, to the delight of men and women alike, two male authors published novels starring a female detective.
           
William Stephens Hayward published Revelations of a Lady Detective just six months after Andrew Forrester’s The Female Detective (republished by the British Library in 2012), making Hayward’s the second novel ever published to feature a female detective. Hayward’s heroine, Mrs. Paschal, is a very different character from her predecessor, Forrester’s G. For a start, Mrs. Paschal is shown smoking on the front cover—an activity considered very modern and daring for women, even in the late nineteenth century. She is a widow, left close to financial ruin by the death of her husband, and supports herself through her detective work. This much racier female detective is however equally inventive, intuitive, and insightful, and with a Colt revolver in hand she works her way through a variety of cases involving theft, murder, and kidnapping.
           
This very rare novel will be welcomed by all fans of Victorian crime fiction.

Sara Lodge, University of St Andrews | Weekly Standard
“Striking. . . . Intriguing reading for anyone interested in the history of crime fiction. . . . [This] is a book that blows gender conventions out of the water.”
Classic Mysteries blog
“Thoroughly entertaining.”
Contents
Introduction by Mike Ashley

Revelations of a Lady Detective
    The Mysterious Countess
    The Secret Band
    The Lost Diamonds
    Stolen Letters
    The Nun, the Will, and the Abbess
    Which Is the Heir?
    Found Drowned
    Fifty Pounds Reward
    Mistaken Identity
    Incognita
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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