Fergus Hume - a 19th Century View
An extract from the St James’s Gazette, of Saturday 14th September 1889
“The fiction of the great masters has slowly won its place as part of the great literature of the world, and Mr. Gattie himself would probably not quarrel seriously with readers of Scott and Thackeray.
Well, we should like to put in a word on behalf of the readers of the fiction which is not of the great masters.
To a reader with any literary possibilities in him, novels of the second and third order even will prove a means of culture ; for novels of even the poorer sort abound in allusions and quotations which arouse curiosity and awaken intelligence.
Such a reader will gradually rise on stepping-stones of his dead tastes to higher things.
For the reader with no root of literary feeling in him it matters not two straws, so far as culture is concerned, whether he reads mysteries of Hegel or of Hansom cabs. Indeed, culture apart, Mr. Fergus Hume has the advantage.
He may possibly compete successfully with the temptations of alcohol.
Hegel would just give the man a thirst.”