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Brief introduction

Madame Midas - that is what they call Mrs. Villiers, living in the Australian mining town of Ballarat. She once possessed enormous wealth, built up over the years by her loving father - and then...

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Bibliographic data

This edition of book was issued in Paperback. The volume of the book is 304 pages (approximate value, can be different depending on the edition). First book "Madame Midas" was published in 1888.

Original Title
Madame Midas
ISBN13
9780701210144
First Published
1888 year
Edition Format
Paperback
Book Language
English
Number of Pages
304 pages
Ebook Format
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Description of "Madame Midas"

Madame Midas - that is what they call Mrs. Villiers, living in the Australian mining town of Ballarat. She once possessed enormous wealth, built up over the years by her loving father - and then learned the least pleasant of lessons, marrying an Englishman whose true colors were soon unfurled at every nearby gambling and drinking establishment. But having left him behind, Madame Midas - that is what they call Mrs. Villiers, living in the Australian mining town of Ballarat.

She once possessed enormous wealth, built up over the years by her loving father - and then learned the least pleasant of lessons, marrying an Englishman whose true colors were soon unfurled at every nearby gambling and drinking establishment. But having left him behind, and establishing herself in Ballarat, she has found herself possessed of enough acumen to make a success of herself, and to earn to respect of all. Now into her world arrive two strangers - a pair of Frenchmen who have made a desperate escape from prison on a tiny boat upon the sea, and who hope to find fortune and a new life on this rugged coast.

The society of Ballarat may witness budding romance - perhaps... and murder, most certainly. Fergus Hume (1859-1932) was author of novels of mystery and detection including The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, The Secret Passage and The Silent House.

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About Author

Fergusson Wright Hume (1859–1932), New Zealand lawyer and prolific author particularly renowned for his debut novel, the international best-seller The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886). Fergusson [Fergus] Wright Hume was born 8 July 1859 at Powick, Worcestershire, England, son of Glaswegian Dr. James Collin Hume, a steward at the Worcestershire Pauper Lunatic Asylum and his wife Mary Ferguson. While Fergusson Wright Hume (1859–1932), New Zealand lawyer and prolific author particularly renowned for his debut novel, the international best-seller The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886).

Fergusson [Fergus] Wright Hume was born 8 July 1859 at Powick, Worcestershire, England, son of Glaswegian Dr. James Collin Hume, a steward at the Worcestershire Pauper Lunatic Asylum and his wife Mary Ferguson. While Fergus was a very young child, in 1863 the Humes emigrated to New Zealand where James founded the first private mental hospital and Dunedin College. Young Fergus attended the Otago Boy's High School then went on to study law at Otago University.

He followed up with articling in the attorney-general's office, called to the New Zealand bar in 1885. In 1885 Hume moved to Melbourne. While he worked as a solicitors clerk he was bent on becoming a dramatist; but having only written a few short stories he was a virtual unknown.

So as to gain the attentions of the theatre directors he asked a local bookseller what style of book he sold most. Emile Gaboriau's detective works were very popular and so Hume bought them all and studied them intently, thus turning his pen to writing his own style of crime novel and mystery. Hume spent much time in Little Bourke Street to gather material and his first effort was The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886), a worthy contibution to the genre.

It is full of literary references and quotations; finely crafted complex characters and their sometimes ambiguous seeming interrelationships with the other suspects, deepening the whodunit angle. It is somewhat of an exposé of the then extremes in Melbourne society, which caused some controversy for a time. Hume had it published privately after it had been downright rudely rejected by a number of publishers.

"Having completed the book, I tried to get it published, but everyone to whom I offered it refused even to look at the manuscript on the grounds that no Colonial could write anything worth reading". He had sold the publishing rights for £50, but still retained the dramatic rights which he soon profited from by the long Australian and London theatre runs. Except for short trips to France, Switzerland and Italy, in 1888 Hume settled and stayed in Essex, England where he would remain for the rest of his life.

His romance and Australian gold mining tale, Madame Midas was published in 1889. Miss Mephistopheles (1890), Aladdin in London (1892),The Secret Passage (1905), The Green Mummy (1908), High Water Mark (1911), The Master Mind (1919), The Moth Woman (1923), and The Last Straw (1932) were some of the many titles to follow The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Although he was born and lived the latter part of this life in England, Hume thought of himself as 'a colonial' and identified as a New Zealander, having spent all of his formative years from preschool through to adulthood in Dunedin, at the far edge of the empire.

Fergus Hume died of cardiac failure at his home in Rosemary, Grove Road, Thundersley, Essex, England on 11 July 1932.

Information about the author on the site: https://gtkrm.info/AQdUqa.


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