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Picture of Investigating Arthur Upfield

Investigating Arthur Upfield

A Centenary Collection of Critical Essays

Editor(s): Kees de Hoog and Carol Hetherington
Contributors: Noeline MARTIN, Kay SOUTER, Alice M BROWNE, Richard NILE, James C. PIERSON, Glen ROSS, Basil Sansom, MUDROOROO,

Book Description

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.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-3452-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-3452-1
Date of Publication: 01/01/2012
Pages / Size: 297 / A5
Price: £39.99


Kees de Hoog received his BSc and MBA degrees from the University of Western Australia. As an interest outside of his work, he has authored the Arthur Upfield: Creator of “Bony” internet pages since 2004, and has published three anthologies of Upfield’s short works, two of his non-Bony novels, and two related books.

Carol Hetherington is currently Manager of the Bibliographic Information Service within the database AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource, and is an Editorial Assistant for Australian Literary Studies. Her most recent publication is “American Friends: Clinton Hartley Grattan and W. W. Norton,” in Reading Across the Pacific, edited by Robert Dixon and Nicholas Birns, (Sydney University Press, 2010).