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Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is on leave, staying with an old friend near Adelaide. Ben Wickham, a meteorologist whose uncannily accurate weather forecasts had helped farmers all over Australia, lived nearby. Ben died after a three-week drinking binge and a doctor certified death as due to delirium tremens - but Bony's host insists that whatever Ben died of it wasn't alcohol... This is an unusual crime story for Upfield, but, revealing the vast range of his interests, it is one of the better ones ... Constable Alice McGorr returns and is at her strongest and most profane best ... she is extraordinary, and should be appreciated as one of his major creations. - from The Spirit of Australia by Ray Browne. Bony - a unique figure among top-flight detectives - BBC
Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte Mystery #20 featuring the first Aboriginal detective.
Both Australia and Arthur W. Upfield (1890-1964) matured together. At the start of the last century, Upfield emigrated to Australia as that nation was gaining independence and identity. The Gallipoli campaign changed both, and both spent the next decades in pursuit of identity, he wandering, Australia finding its own unique place among nations. Arthur W. Upfield lived a life many might envy: unsuccessful student, immigrant (1911), walker, horse breaker and camel driver, soldier, Bushman, fence rider, journalist, intelligence officer, explorer, novelist, swordfisherman, and creator of bi-racial Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, “Bony”, in novels rivaling the popularity of Sherlock Holmes. Caught between two worlds, like his fictional character, Upfield was thoroughly English and yet also an Australian nationalist describing Outback Australia to the world through his part Aboriginal character. Famous novelists including Tony Hillerman and Stan Jones, to name only two, found a detective model in “Bony”. Australia developed quickly after the Second World War, and Upfield, too, was successful after years of tea, chops and damper, chasing “rabbit, ‘roo and dog”. As Australia developed, Upfield’s Bush, his “Australia Proper”, slowly succumbed to modernization. After the war, Upfield left the Bush to become a successful writer eventually to be published in a wide range of languages and selling books in the millions of copies. The biography relies on letters, papers, and public documents of the period, in Australia, England and America, many unexplored before now, in order to understand the story of his life and that of his true homeland, Australia.
In the world of crime fiction, Arthur W. Upfield stands among the giants. His detective-inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, is one of the most memorable of all crime fighters. Upfield was an independent, fiercely self-assertive ex-Britisher, who loved Australia, especially the Outback. In many ways Upfield became Outback Australia—the “Spirit of Australia.”
Arthur Upfield created Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (Bony) who features in twenty-nine novels written from the 1920s to the the 1960s, mostly set in the Australian Outback. He was the first Australian professional writer of crime detection novels. Upfield arrived in Australia from England on 4 November 1911, and this collection of twenty-two critical essays by academics and scholars has been published to celebrate the centenary of his arrival. The essays were all written after Upfield’s death in 1964 and provide a wide range of responses to his fiction. The contributors, from Australia, Europe and the United States, include journalist Pamela Ruskin who was Upfield’s agent for fifteen years, anthropologists, literary scholars, pioneers in the academic study of popular culture such as John G. Cawelti and Ray B. Browne, and novelists Tony Hillerman and Mudrooroo whose own works have been inspired by Upfield’s. The collection sheds light on the extent and nature of critical responses to Upfield over time, demonstrates the type of recognition he has received and highlights the way in which different preoccupations and critical trends have dealt with his work. The essays provide the basis for an assessment of Upfield’s place not only in the international annals of crime fiction but also in the literary and cultural history of Australia.
Genesis 3:15. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (I need not remind you that that was addressed to the serpent.) Revelation 17:14. .”..and they also shall overcome that are with him..." "That which I believe the Lord has laid on my heart very definitely and strongly for this season of our gathering together is what is represented by those passages, and many others, namely: The Battle for the Throne." T. Austin-Sparks

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