The Forger's Wife

Publication Details
Book Title: 
ISBN: 
9780987625304
Series: 
Colonial Australian Popular Fiction
Year of Publication: 
2017
Publisher: 
Grattan Street Press
Author Information
Author Name: 
Author's Home Country: 
Australia
Categories & Groupings
Category: 
Crime Fiction
Book Cover
Book Synopsis

John Lang was Australia's first locally born novelist, publishing early work in Sydney in the 1840s and going on to write several bestsellers. The Forger's Wife (1856) is a lively adventure novel, set in an unruly colonial Sydney where everyone is on the make. The forger's wife is a young woman who follows her rakish husband out to Australia and struggles to survive as her marriage falls apart. She soon meets detective George Flower, a powerful man with a cavalier sense of justice and retribution. Flower literally controls the fortunes of the colony: taking on the local bushrangers, instructing colonial authorities, and helping himself to the spoils along the way.

First serialised in Fraser's Magazine in 1853, The Forger's Wife was popular in its day and was reprinted many times over. It is Australia's first detective novel – and most likely, the first detective novel in the Anglophone world.

'It is a powerful, if occasionally painful, book. It sells even now in all the colonies and in England by the thousand...'

Rolf Boldrewood (1893).

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