Image of Edgar Wallace


Lifetime: 1875 - 1932 Passed: ≈ 92 years ago


Crime Writer, War Correspondent, Journalist, Novelist



Edgar Wallace

Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace was an English writer.

Born into poverty as an illegitimate London child, Wallace left school at the age of 12. He joined the army at age 21 and was a war correspondent during the Second Boer War, for Reuters and the Daily Mail. Struggling with debt, he left South Africa, returned to London, and began writing thrillers to raise income, publishing books including The Four Just Men (1905). Drawing on his time as a reporter in the Congo, covering the Belgian atrocities, Wallace serialised short stories in magazines such as The Windsor Magazine and later published collections such as Sanders of the River (1911). He signed with Hodder and Stoughton in 1921 and became an internationally recognised author.

After an unsuccessful bid to stand as Liberal MP for Blackpool (as one of David Lloyd George's Independent Liberals) in the 1931 general election, Wallace moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a script writer for RKO. He died suddenly from undiagnosed diabetes, during the initial drafting of King Kong (1933).

Wallace was such a prolific writer that one of his publishers claimed that a quarter of all books in England were written by him. As well as journalism, Wallace wrote screen plays, poetry, historical non-fiction, 18 stage plays, 957 short stories, and over 170 novels, 12 in 1929 alone. More than 160 films have been made of Wallace's work. In addition to his work on King Kong, he is remembered as a writer of 'the colonial imagination', for the J. G. Reeder detective stories, and for The Green Archer serial. He sold over 50 million copies of his combined works in various editions, and The Economist describes him as "one of the most prolific thriller writers of [the 20th] century", although the great majority of his books are out of print in the UK, but are still read in Germany.

Books by Edgar Wallace

The Angel of Terror Cover image

The Angel of Terror

Crime Fiction
Mystery Thriller Suspense Espionage

Conventional ideas of beauty are typically associate it with goodness and kindness. However, appearances can be deceptive. Jean Briggerland is exquisitely lovely, but few know that this ethereal, angelic facade hides an utterly immoral and cruel hear...

The Daffodil Mystery Cover image

The Daffodil Mystery

Fiction Novel
Detective Mystery Thriller

The Daffodil Mystery is a 1920 thriller novel by the British writer Edgar Wallace. It features the detective Jack Tarling and his Chinese assistant Ling Chu. It was adapted into a West German film The Devil's Daffodil (1961), part of a long-running s...

The Clue of the Twisted Candle Cover image

The Clue of the Twisted Candle

Crime Novel
Detective Mystery

The Clue of the Twisted Candle is a 1918 crime novel by the British writer Edgar Wallace.

The Secret House  Cover image

The Secret House

Romance Drama
Detective Death Blackmail London Gossips General Fiction

A stranger and foreigner arrives at the offices of a small publication in London only to be faced by the “editor” whose face is completely swathed in a veil. Nothing is as it seems, and it quickly becomes evident that both are bent on more than livel...

The Fellowship of the Frog Cover image

The Fellowship of the Frog

Adventure Fiction Novel
Detective Mystery Crime Thriller Courage Justice Suspense Injustice Danger Twists Plotting Storytelling

It is a thrilling adventure novel perfect for the readers seeking an exciting and mysterious story. Originally published in 1925, this classic work of fiction will keep young minds captivated from beginning to end. In this gripping tale, Wallace take...

The Book of All Power Cover image

The Book of All Power

Fantasy Adventure Fiction
Mystery Sacrifice Supernatural Challenges Struggle Suspense Ambition Magic Secret Twists Consequences

This is a mesmerizing tale that delves into the realms of ancient secrets and unimaginable abilities. In a society driven by ambition and the pursuit of power, protagonist Alex Kingsley finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue when he stumbles up...

The Clue of the New Pin Cover image

The Clue of the New Pin

Detective Mystery Crime Suspense Investigation Classic Literature

In the heart of this riveting mystery, a wealthy man lies dead, his demise shrouded in enigma. "The Clue of the New Pin" by Edgar Wallace unveils a perplexing tale where intrigue and deception entwine in a deadly dance. As the night falls over London...