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September 24 , 2007

The Woman In Black by E.C. Bentley

"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?"


Edmund Clerihew Bentley was born on July 10th in London and educated at St Paul’s and Merton College, Oxford. Bentley worked as a journalist on several newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph. His first published collection of poetry in 1905, “Biography for Beginners,” popularized the clerihew form (this was an irregular type of humourous verse, normally on biographical subjects) it was followed by two other collections, More Biography (1929) and Baseless Biography (1939). His detective novel, Trent's Last Case (1913), is the first modern mystery. It was much praised and admired by, among others, Dorothy L. Sayers.It features a dense, labyrinthine and mystifying plotting which was unusual for the time (which was between high brow novels and pulp fiction serials and magazines imprints) and aroused great interest. It was adapted into a film in 1920, 1929, and 1952. The success of the work inspired him, after 23 years, to write a sequel, Trent's Own Case (1936). There was also a book of Trent short stories, Trent Intervenes. From 1936 until 1949 Bentley was president of the Detection Club. He contributed to two crime stories for the club's radio serials broadcast in 1930 and 1931. E. C. Bentley died in 1956 in London at the age of 80.
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