Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1107411">NYPL Digital Gallery</a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
8,178 (11,691)2752,553 (3.59)110
Among the most prolific of all authors of adventure fiction was the redoubtable Edgar Wallace. Born in London, Wallace received his early education at St. Peter's School and the Board School. Wallace served in the Royal West Kent Regiment in England and later as part of the Medical Staff Corps stationed in South Africa. During World War I, Wallace acted as a special interrogator for the War Office. As was the case with a number of successful popular authors, Wallace experienced a rich and diverse life before turning to professional writing. From 1886 to the 1930s, he worked in a printing shop, a shoe shop, and a rubber factory, and served as a merchant sailor and milk deliverer. Beginning in 1899, Wallace became a journalist and wrote variously for the London Daily Mail and the Rand Daily News, among others; he also worked with the racing periodicals, having founded two of them---Bibury's Weekly and R. E. Walton's Weekly. Like Sax Rohmer, Wallace earned a fortune from his writings, yet, because of a lack of business sense and a tendency to overspend, he died in debt. A prodigious writer of fiction, Wallace published, over the course of his professional life, some 173 books and wrote 17 plays. Many of his adventure narratives featured elements of crime or mystery, but they all thrived on action. Although Wallace's handling of plot was superb and he was respected for his ability to blend suspense with humor, he was less successful with his characters, who tended to be two-dimensional and stereotyped. One of his early crime adventures, The Four Just Men (1906), introduced what was to become a trademark for Wallace---lurid sensationalism coupled with dramatic violence. Wallace published in a wide range of genres, including poetry, short fiction, autobiography, and epic political history. Regrettably, much of what he wrote has lapsed into obscurity today. As sometimes is the problem with popular fiction, perhaps it was too hurriedly written---too intimately connected with its contemporary audience---to stand the ultimate test of time. But Wallace's work was highly influential, especially in the American pulp magazine markets of the Great Depression, and stands today, despite its many flaws, as some of the most effective literary adventures ever written. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Four Just Men
… (more)
The Four Just Men 365 copies, 9 reviews
The Crimson Circle 171 copies, 5 reviews
The Door With Seven Locks 165 copies, 6 reviews
The Mind of J. G. Reeder 164 copies, 7 reviews
The Clue of the Twisted Candle 161 copies, 6 reviews
The Ringer 138 copies, 3 reviews
The Angel of Terror 137 copies, 10 reviews
The Feathered Serpent 121 copies, 1 review
The Daffodil Mystery 118 copies, 4 reviews
The Black Abbot 116 copies, 3 reviews
The Fellowship of the Frog 116 copies, 3 reviews
The Green Archer 113 copies, 2 reviews
La gente terrible 108 copies, 1 review
Sanders of the River 106 copies, 3 reviews
The Green Rust 91 copies, 2 reviews
The Clue of the Silver Key 91 copies, 1 review
The Forger 90 copies, 1 review
White Face 86 copies, 2 reviews
Die gelbe Schlange 86 copies, 4 reviews
The Joker 85 copies
Room 13 85 copies, 3 reviews
The Clue of the New Pin 80 copies, 1 review
The Valley of Ghosts 79 copies, 2 reviews
The Squealer 79 copies, 2 reviews
The India-Rubber Men 77 copies, 1 review
The Square Emerald 76 copies, 1 review
Big Foot 76 copies, 1 review
The Council Of Justice 74 copies, 2 reviews
The Dark Eyes of London 74 copies, 4 reviews
The Three Just Men 72 copies, 1 review
The Just Men of Cordova 71 copies, 3 reviews
The Frightened Lady 71 copies, 1 review
The Man Who Was Nobody 70 copies, 2 reviews
Terror Keep 70 copies, 1 review
The Twister 69 copies, 3 reviews
The Avenger 67 copies, 1 review
Bones in London 65 copies, 1 review
The Flying Squad 63 copies, 2 reviews
Red Aces 62 copies, 1 review
The Double 62 copies
Again the Three 61 copies, 1 review
Blue Hand 58 copies, 1 review
The Man Who Bought London 56 copies, 1 review
Jack O' Judgment 56 copies, 1 review
The Sinister Man 55 copies, 1 review
The Golden Hades 55 copies, 1 review
Flat 2 55 copies, 1 review
Bones 54 copies, 2 reviews
On the spot (Author) 54 copies, 1 review
Angel Esquire 54 copies, 1 review
The Face in the Night 54 copies, 1 review
The Brigand 51 copies
The Law of the Four Just Men 50 copies, 1 review
Sanders 50 copies, 1 review
The Man at the Carlton 48 copies, 2 reviews
The Arranways mystery 46 copies, 1 review
Der unheimliche Mönch 44 copies, 3 reviews
The Book of All-Power 44 copies, 1 review
The Keepers of the King's Peace 44 copies, 2 reviews
Mr Justice Maxell 44 copies, 2 reviews
Bosambo of the River 41 copies, 1 review
When the Gangs Came to London 41 copies, 1 review
The Hand of Power 40 copies, 1 review
The Northing Tramp 40 copies, 2 reviews
The Fourth Plague 40 copies, 2 reviews
The Calendar 38 copies
Double Dan 37 copies
Again Sanders 36 copies
The Mixer 36 copies
The Day of Uniting 32 copies, 2 reviews
The Million Dollar Story 31 copies, 1 review
Kate, Plus 10 31 copies
The Devil Man 30 copies
Down Under Donovan 30 copies, 1 review
We Shall See 28 copies
A King By Night 28 copies
The Orator 25 copies
The Nine Bears 25 copies, 1 review
Four Square Jane 24 copies, 1 review
Hands up! 23 copies
Tam o' the scoots 23 copies, 1 review
Gunman's Bluff 22 copies
Lieutenant Bones 21 copies, 1 review
The Green Pack 18 copies
The Lone House Mystery 17 copies, 1 review
Die Abenteuerin 16 copies
The Iron Grip 14 copies
The Black 14 copies
Grey Timothy 13 copies, 1 review
The Girl from Scotland Yard 13 copies, 1 review
The Mouthpiece 11 copies, 1 review
Chick 11 copies
The Law of the Three Just Men 11 copies, 2 reviews
Eve's Island 11 copies
Good Evans 10 copies
Those Folk of Bulboro (Author) 8 copies, 1 review
I dieci volti del delitto 7 copies, 1 review
Planetoid 127 7 copies
Omnibus 7 copies, 1 review
Private Selby 6 copies
The Reporter 6 copies
The Big Four 5 copies
The Steward 5 copies
Smoky Cell 4 copies
The Mind Reader 4 copies, 4 reviews
Meistermorde 4 copies
Smithy 3 copies
Detective-omnibus 3 copies, 1 review
Patria 2 copies
Nobby 2 copies
Edgar Wallace 2 copies
Mystery Novels Vol. 1 2 copies, 1 review
Sergeant Dunn,C.I.D. 2 copies, 1 review
Mystery Novels Vol. 2 2 copies, 1 review
OBRAS SELECTAS (II) 2 copies, 1 review
This England 2 copies
Svart magi 1 copy
Podvodník 1 copy
MYSTERY LEAGUE (21 VOLUMES) (Contributor) 1 copy
Killer Kay 1 copy
Gangsters 1 copy
O Orador 1 copy
Four Just Men Annotated 1 copy, 1 review
Omnibusbogen (Author) 1 copy
King Kong 1 copy
Tam 1 copy
[Works] 1 copy
Clues 1 copy
King Kong (Original screenplay) 368 copies, 9 reviews
A Treasury of Great Mysteries (Contributor) 263 copies, 3 reviews
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (Contributor) 223 copies, 7 reviews
Crime Stories from the Strand (Contributor) 209 copies, 2 reviews
Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries (Contributor) 188 copies, 15 reviews
The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime (Contributor) 161 copies, 6 reviews
100 Crooked Little Crime Stories (Contributor) 150 copies, 2 reviews
Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries (Contributor) 142 copies, 9 reviews
Capital Crimes: London Mysteries (Contributor) 124 copies, 4 reviews
Strange Tales From the Strand (Contributor) 101 copies, 2 reviews
The Big Book of Adventure Stories (Contributor) 94 copies, 3 reviews
Science Fiction Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (Contributor) 92 copies, 1 review
The Pulps: Fifty Years of American Pop Culture (Contributor) 89 copies, 1 review
Crime for Christmas (Contributor) 81 copies, 1 review
The Long Arm of the Law (Contributor) 62 copies, 6 reviews
Great Ghost Stories (Contributor) 57 copies, 1 review
The Big Book of Female Detectives (Contributor) 55 copies, 1 review
Great Classic Stories: 22 Unabridged Classics (Author, some editions) 45 copies, 3 reviews
The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories 2 (Contributor) 44 copies
Crime & Mystery Short Stories (Contributor) 40 copies
65 Great Murder Mysteries (Contributor) 31 copies
The Mystery Book (Contributor) 27 copies
The Pocket Book of Great Detectives (Contributor) 21 copies, 1 review
Great Tales of Detection (Contributor) 20 copies, 1 review
Classic Detective Stories (Contributor) 19 copies, 2 reviews
Murder at the Races (Contributor) 18 copies
A Century of Detective Stories (Contributor) 18 copies
Twelve Tales of Murder (Contributor) 15 copies
The Mystery Companion (Contributor) 11 copies
The Dark Eyes of London {film} (Original book) 9 copies, 1 review
The Black Cap: New Stories of Murder and Mystery (Contributor) 9 copies, 1 review
Thrills, Crimes and Mysteries (Contributor) 9 copies
Classic Crime Short Stories (Contributor) 8 copies
Detective Omnibus (Contributor) 6 copies, 1 review
The London Omnibus (Contributor) 6 copies
I delitti della camera chiusa (Contributor) 5 copies
The Big book of detective stories (Contributor) 4 copies
Avon Mystery Story Teller (Contributor) 4 copies
Vintermysterier (Author, some editions) 3 copies, 1 review
Best Stories of the Underworld (Contributor) 3 copies
After Dark Classics (CSA Word Recording) (Contributor) 3 copies, 1 review
Piirakkasota : Valikoima huumoria (Contributor) 3 copies
Great Stories of Detection (Contributor) 2 copies
The Door With Seven Locks [1940 film] (Original book) 2 copies
Spionhistorier fra hele verden (Contributor) 2 copies, 1 review
De ¤bedste kriminalhistorier fra hele verden (Contributor) 1 copy, 1 review
Detectives and Criminals (Contributor) 1 copy
Verdens beste kriminalhistorier (Contributor) 1 copy
Sixteen on (Contributor) 1 copy
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Born into poverty as an illegitimate London child, Wallace left school at 12. He joined the army at 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 time as a reporter in the Congo, covering the Belgian atrocities, Wallace serialised short stories in magazines, later publishing collections such as Sanders of the River (1911). He signed with Hodder and Stoughton in 1921 and became an internationally recognised author.

A prolific writer, one of Wallace's publishers claimed that a quarter of all books then read 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. He is remembered for the creation of King Kong, as a writer of 'the colonial imagination', for the J. G. Reeder detective stories, and the Green Archer. 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 few of his books are still in print in the UK.
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.59)
0.5 2
1 28
1.5 18
2 82
2.5 28
3 498
3.5 136
4 487
4.5 39
5 246

Author pictures (2)


(see all 2 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Edgar Wallace is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Edgar Wallace is composed of 11 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 171,672,061 books! | Top bar: Always visible