Memoirs of Vidocq: Master of Crime
Criminal exploits, secret agent intrigue, and clever -disguises fill the pages of Francois Eugene Vidocq’s memoirs. A legendary figure in history, Vidocq is known as the first detective and an inspiration to great writers such as Honore de Balzac, Victor Hugo and Edgar Allen Poe. As a player in the criminal underworld, Vidocq is a master of disguises and an accomplished thief, eventually turning his unlawful talents toward catching criminals as the first French chief of secret police. Playing both sides of the law, Vidocq’s life highlights the blurry line between law enforcement and the criminals they pursue. Vidocq has a knack for finding trouble throughout his topsy-turvy life, getting into one hot situation after another, often finding himself behind bars, only to escape the first chance he gets. This book will take you on a whirlwind tour of 1830s France, including the circus stage, pirate ships, prison cells and beautiful women’s boudoirs. Vidocq’s life story is unforgettable and includes some of the best crime stories and juicy tales ever written. Last year, Gerard Depardieu starred in the French film adaptation of the memoirs, -titled Vidocq.
"He preferred the tumultuous life of danger to the contentment of security. His story is one long swashbuckling adventure as he breaks out of jails, pursues actresses, duels to the death, raids the hells of criminals and stalks the Paris night in a thousand disguises."—Philip John Stead, Vidocq, Picaroon of Crime
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However, no one made the slightest comment. Resting easy on this score, I
began to consider my affairs and the course I should pursue. Obviously I must
leave the country and go to Holland. However, to execute this project money was
indispensable, and, besides my watch which I offered to my host, I was in
command of four francs, ten sous. I could have recourse to Francine, but they
could not fail to spy on her, and to address her the slightest message was to lose
all. At least I had to ...
Whatever might happen, I agreed to Saint-Germain's proposition and made not
the slightest objection to this precaution, which was the best guaranty of
everyone's discretion. When he saw that we agreed with him, Saint- Germain,
who through his energy and conception was really the leader in the plot, spoke a
few words of satisfaction. 'I am pleased,' he told us, 'to see you in such sentiments
. For my part, I will do all that I can to deserve to be your friend for a long time!' It
was arranged ...
There they soon learned that their comrade was Vidocq. Their sentence was
confirmed and all were sent to prison. The evening of their departure I was
present when the fatal collar was put on. When they saw me, they could not help
laughing. 'Look at your work,' Lapierre said to me. 'Are you satisfied, scoundrel?' 'I
haven't the slightest thing to reproach myself. I didn't advise you to steal. Didn't
you call me? Why were you so confident? When one plies a trade like yours, one
should be ...
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A Peace of Mind Soon Lost
Good Intentions Come to Naught
The Villainous Past Preys Upon Me
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