Jules Maigret

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Jules Maigret
Bruno Crémer.jpg
Bruno Cremer as Jules Maigret
First appearanceThe Strange Case of Peter the Lett (1931)
Created byGeorges Simenon
Portrayed by
In-universe information
GenderMale
OccupationDetective Chief Superintendent
Family
  • Evariste Maigret (father)
  • Hernance Maigret (mother)
Spouse
Louise Léonard
(m. 1912)
NationalityFrance French

Jules Maigret ([ʒyl mɛɡʁɛ]), or simply Maigret, is a fictional French police detective, a commissaire ("commissioner") of the Paris Brigade Criminelle (Direction Régionale de Police Judiciaire de Paris), created by writer Georges Simenon. The character's full name is Jules Amedée François Maigret.[1]

Between 1931 and 1972, 75 novels[1] and 28 short stories[2] about Maigret were published, starting with Pietr-le-Letton ("Peter the Lett") and concluding with Maigret et Monsieur Charles ("Maigret and Monsieur Charles"). The Maigret stories were also adapted for television and radio. Penguin Books published new translations of 75 books in the series over as many months;[1] the project was begun in November 2013 by translators David Bellos, Anthea Bell, and Ros Schwartz.[3]

Character[edit]

Creation[edit]

The character of Maigret was invented by Simenon while drinking in a cafe by a Dutch canal[1] and imagining a Parisian policeman: "a large powerfully built gentleman...a pipe, a bowler hat, a thick overcoat."[4] Maigret was reputed to be based on Marcel Guillaume [fr], an actual French detective[5] although Simenon himself variously claimed not to remember the inspiration or that Maigret was influenced by Simenon's own father.[5]

Biographers Thomas Narcejac and Fenton Bresler both see Simenon himself in his creation.[5]

Description[edit]

Maigret is described as a large, broad shouldered man — he is gruff, but patient and fair. Recurring characters in the series include Maigret's wife Louise (usually referred to simply as Madame Maigret)[5] and in particular "The Faithful Four", a group consisting of his four loyal police colleagues (Sgt./Inspector Lucas, Janvier, Lapointe, and Torrence[5]).

Maigret doesn't like his first name being used and prefers to be simply called "Maigret".[6] Even Maigret's wife largely restricts herself to calling him "Maigret", only calling him by his first name a handful of times.[6]

He was from the village of Saint-Fiacre in the Allier Department where his father Evariste Maigret was the bailiff for the local landowner; see Simenon's novel Maigret's Failure (Un échec de Maigret), about a school bully and contemporary, "Fatty" Ferdinand Fumal from the same village.

List of novels[edit]

List of Maigret novels with date of French-language publication as well as the Penguin reissue dates and titles.[7]

Title Date Penguin UK Reissue Date Reissue # Reissue Title Other English title(s)
Pietr-le-Letton 1931 7 Nov 2013 1 Pietr the Latvian The Strange Case of Peter the Lett
The Case of Peter the Lett
Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett
Le Charretier de la Providence 1931 6 Feb 2014 4 The Carter of La Providence The Crime at Lock 14
Maigret Meets a Milord
Lock 14
M. Gallet décédé 1931 5 Dec 2013 2 The Late Monsieur Gallet The Death of Monsieur Gallet
Maigret Stonewalled
Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien 1931 2 Jan 2014 3 The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien The Crime of Inspector Maigret
Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets
La Tête d'un homme
(L'Homme de la Tour Eiffel)
1931 3 July 2014 9 A Man's Head A Battle of Nerves
Maigret's War of Nerves
Le Chien jaune 1931 6 Mar 2014 5 The Yellow Dog A Face for a Clue
Maigret and the Concarneau Murders
Maigret and the Yellow Dog
La Nuit du carrefour 1931 3 Apr 2014 6 Night at the Crossroads Maigret at the Crossroads
The Night at the Crossroads
Un Crime en Hollande 1931 1 May 2014 7 A Crime in Holland Maigret in Holland
Au Rendez-vous des Terre-Neuves 1931 5 June 2014 8 The Grand Banks Cafe The Sailors' Rendezvous
Maigret Answers a Plea
La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin 1931 7 Aug 2014 10 The Dancer at the Gai Moulin At the Gai Moulin
Maigret at the Gai Moulin
La Guinguette à deux sous 1932 4 Sep 2014 11 The Two-Penny Bar Guinguette by the Seine
Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine
Maigret to the Rescue
A Spot by the Seine
The Bar on the Seine
L'Ombre chinoise 1932 2 Oct 2014 12 The Shadow Puppet The Shadow in the Courtyard
Maigret Mystified
L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre 1932 6 Nov 2014 13 The Saint-Fiacre Affair Maigret and the Countess
Maigret Goes Home
Maigret on Home Ground
Chez les Flamands 1932 4 Dec 2014 14 The Flemish Shop Maigret and the Flemish Shop
The Flemish House
Le Port des brumes 1932 5 Feb 2015 16 The Misty Harbour Death of a Harbour Master
Maigret and the Death of a Harbor Master
The Port of Shadows
Le Fou de Bergerac 1932 1 Jan 2015 15 The Madman of Bergerac The Madman of Bergerac
Liberty Bar 1932 5 Mar 2015 17 Liberty Bar Maigret on the Riviera
L'Écluse nº 1 1933 2 Apr 2015 18 Lock No. 1 The Lock at Charenton
Maigret Sits It Out
La femme rousse 1933 The Redhead
Maigret 1934 7 May 2015 19 Maigret Maigret Returns
La Maison du juge 1940 6 Aug 2015 22 The Judge's House Maigret in Exile
Les Caves du Majestic 1942 2 July 2015 21 The Cellars of the Majestic Maigret and the Hotel Majestic
The Hotel Majestic
Cécile est morte 1942 4 June 2015 20 Cecile is Dead Maigret and the Spinster
Signé Picpus 1944 3 Sep 2015 23 Signed, Picpus Maigret and the Fortuneteller
Félicie est là 1944 5 Nov 2015 25 Félicie Maigret and the Toy Village
L'Inspecteur Cadavre 1944 1 Oct 2015 24 Inspector Cadaver Maigret's Rival
Maigret se fâche 1947 3 Dec 2015 26 Maigret Gets Angry Maigret in Retirement
Maigret à New York 1947 7 Jan 2016 27 Maigret in New York Inspector Maigret in New York's Underworld
Maigret in New York's Underworld
Les Vacances de Maigret November 1947 4 Feb 2016 28 Maigret's Holiday A Summer Holiday
No Vacation for Maigret
Maigret on Holiday
Maigret et son mort January 1948 3 Mar 2016 29 Maigret's Dead Man Maigret's Special Murder
La Première enquête de Maigret, 1913 October 1948 7 Apr 2016 30 Maigret's First Case Maigret's First Case
Mon ami Maigret February 1949 5 May 2016 31 My Friend Maigret The Methods of Maigret
Maigret chez le coroner July 1949 2 June 2016 32 Maigret at the Coroner's
L'Amie de Mme Maigret December 1949 4 Aug 2016 34 Madame Maigret's Friend Madame Maigret's Own Case
The Friend of Madame Maigret
Les Mémoires de Maigret September 1950 1 Sep 2016 35 Maigret's Memoirs
Maigret et la vieille dame December 1950 7 July 2016 33 Maigret and the Old Lady
Maigret au "Picratt's" December 1950 6 Oct 2016 36 Maigret at Picratt's Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret in Montmartre
Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret en meublé February 1951 3 Nov 2016 37 Maigret Takes a Room Maigret Rents a Room
Maigret et la grande perche May 1951 1 Dec 2016 38 Maigret and the Tall Woman Inspector Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters September 1951 5 Jan 2017 39 Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters Inspector Maigret and the Killers
Maigret and the Gangsters
Le Revolver de Maigret June 1952 2 Feb 2017 40 Maigret's Revolver
Maigret et l'homme du banc 1953 2 Mar 2017 41 Maigret and the Man on the Bench Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard
The Man on the Boulevard
Maigret a peur March 1953 6 Apr 2017 42 Maigret is Afraid Maigret Afraid
Maigret se trompe August 1953 4 May 2017 43 Maigret's Mistake
Maigret à l'école December 1953 1 June 2017 44 Maigret Goes to School
Maigret et la jeune morte January 1954 6 July 2017 45 Maigret and the Dead Girl Inspector Maigret and the Dead Girl
Maigret and the Young Girl
Maigret chez le ministre August 1954 3 Aug 2017 46 Maigret and the Minister Maigret and the Calame Report
Maigret et le corps sans tête January 1955 7 Sep 2017 47 Maigret and the Headless Corpse
Maigret tend un piège July 1955 5 Oct 2017 48 Maigret Sets a Trap
Un échec de Maigret March 1956 2 Nov 2017 49 Maigret's Failure
Maigret s'amuse September 1956 7 Dec 2017 50 Maigret Enjoys Himself Maigret's Little Joke
None of Maigret's Business
Maigret voyage August 1957 4 Jan 2018 51 Maigret Travels Maigret and the Millionaires
Les scrupules de Maigret December 1957 1 Feb 2018 52 Maigret's Doubts Maigret Has Scruples
Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants October 1958 1 Mar 2018 53 Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses
Une confidence de Maigret May 1959 5 Apr 2018 54 Maigret's Secret Maigret Has Doubts
Maigret aux assises November 1959 3 May 2018 55 Maigret in Court
Maigret et les vieillards June 1960 7 June 2018 56 Maigret and the Old People Maigret in Society
Maigret et le voleur paresseux January 1961 5 July 2018 57 Maigret and the Lazy Burglar Maigret and the Lazy Burglar
Maigret and the Idle Burglar
Maigret et les braves gens September 1961 2 Aug 2018 58 Maigret and the Good People of Montparnasse Maigret and the Black Sheep
Maigret et le client du samedi February 1962 6 Sep 2018 59 Maigret and the Saturday Caller Maigret and the Saturday Caller
Maigret et le clochard May 1962 4 Oct 2018 60 Maigret and the Tramp Maigret and the Dosser
Maigret and the Bum
La colère de Maigret June 1962 1 Nov 2018 61 Maigret's Anger Maigret Loses His Temper
Maigret et le fantôme June 1963 6 Dec 2018 62 Maigret and the Ghost Maigret and the Ghost
Maigret and the Apparition
Maigret se défend July 1964 3 Jan 2019 63 Maigret Defends Himself Maigret on the Defensive
La Patience de Maigret March 1965 7 Feb 2019 64 Maigret's Patience The Patience of Maigret
Maigret Bides His Time
Maigret et l'affaire Nahour February 1966 7 March 2019 65 Maigret and the Nahour Case Maigret and the Nahour Case
Le voleur de Maigret November 1966 4 April 2019 66 Maigret's Pickpocket Maigret's Pickpocket
Maigret and the Pickpocket
Maigret à Vichy September 1967 6 June 2019 68 Maigret in Vichy Maigret Takes the Waters
Maigret in Vichy
Maigret hésite January 1968 2 May 2019 67 Maigret Hesitates Maigret Hesitates
L'ami d'enfance de Maigret June 1968 4 July 2019 69 Maigret's Childhood Friend Maigret's Boyhood Friend
Maigret et le tueur April 1969 1 Aug 2019 70 Maigret and the Killer Maigret and the Killer
Maigret et le marchand de vin September 1969 5 Sep 2019 71 Maigret and the Wine Merchant Maigret and the Wine Merchant
La Folle de Maigret May 1970 3 Oct 2019 72 Maigret's Madwoman Maigret and the Madwoman
Maigret et l'homme tout seul February 1971 7 Nov 2019 73 Maigret and the Loner Maigret and the Loner
Maigret et l'indicateur June 1971 5 Dec 2019 74 Maigret and the Informer Maigret and the Flea
Maigret and the Informer
Maigret et Monsieur Charles February 1972 9 Jan 2020 75 Maigret and Monsieur Charles Maigret and Monsieur Charles

List of short stories[edit]

List of Maigret short stories by date of first publication in French.

Title Date English title(s)
"L'affaire du boulevard Beaumarchais" 1936 "The Affair of the Boulevard Beaumarchais"
"The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais"
"La péniche aux deux pendus" 1936 "The Barge with Two Hanging Bodies"
"Inspector Maigret Thinks"
"Dead Man's Barge"
"Two Bodies on a Barge"
"La fenêtre ouverte" 1936 "The Open Window"
"Inspector Maigret Smokes His Pipe"
"Peine de mort" 1936 "Inspector Maigret's War of Nerves"
"Death Penalty"
"Les larmes de bougie" 1936 "Journey Into Time"
"Journey Backward Into Time"
"Death of a Woodlander"
"Rue Pigalle" 1936 "Maigret in Rue Pigalle"
"Inspector Maigret Investigates"
"In the Rue Pigalle"
"Monsieur Lundi" 1936 "Mr. Monday"
"Inspector Maigret Hesitates"
"Une erreur de Maigret" 1937 "Maigret's Mistake"
"Stan le tueur" 1938 "Stan the Killer"
"L'auberge aux noyés" 1938 "The Inn of the Drowned"
"The Drowned Men's Inn"
"L'Étoile du Nord" 1938 "At the Étoile du Nord"
"Tempête sur la Manche" 1938 "Storm in the Channel"
"Storm over the Channel"
"Mademoiselle Berthe et son amant" 1938 "Maigret and the Frightened Dressmaker"
"Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover"
"L'improbable Monsieur Owen" 1938 "The Unlikely Monsieur Owen"
"Ceux du Grand Café" 1938 "The Group at the Grand-Café"
"Le notaire de Châteauneuf" 1938 "Inspector Maigret and the Missing Miniatures"
"The Three Daughters of the Lawyer"
"La vieille dame de Bayeux" 1939 "The Old Lady of Bayeux"
"L'amoureux de Madame Maigret" 1939 "The Stronger Vessel"
"Madame Maigret's Admirer"
"L'homme dans la rue" 1940 "The Man on the Run"
"Inspector Maigret Pursues"
"The Man in the Street"
"Vente à la bougie" 1941 "Under the Hammer"
"Inspector Maigret Directs"
"Sale by Auction"
"Menaces de mort" 1942 "Death Threats"
"Jeumont, 51 minutes d'arrêt" 1944 "Jeumont, 51 Minutes Wait!"
"Inspector Maigret Deduces"
"Jeumont, 51 Minutes Stop"
"La pipe de Maigret" 1947 "Maigret's Pipe"
"Le témoignage de l'enfant de chœur" 1947 "Elusive Witness"
"According to the Altar Boy"
"Crime in the Rue Sainte-Catherine"
"The Evidence of the Altar-Boy"
"Le client le plus obstiné du monde" 1947 "The Most Obstinate Man in Paris"
"The Most Obstinate Customer in the World"
"The Most Obstinate Man in the World"
"Maigret et l'inspecteur malgracieux" 1947 "Maigret and the Surly Inspector"
"On ne tue pas les pauvres types" 1947 "Death of a Nobody"
"Un noël de Maigret" 1951 "Maigret's Christmas"
"Sept Petites Croix dans un carnet" 1951 "Seven Little Crosses in a Notebook"

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

Maigret statue by Pieter d'Hont in Delfzijl, Netherlands. The unveiling was made by Simenon himself on 3 September 1966, at the place where he had written the first Maigret novel, and was attended by Maigret actors from various countries.[8][9]
Jules Maigret memorial plaque

The cinematic potential of Maigret was realized quickly: the first screen Maigret was Pierre Renoir in 1932's Night at the Crossroads, directed by his brother Jean Renoir;[8] the same year brought The Yellow Dog with Abel Tarride,[8] and Harry Baur played him in 1933's La Tête d'un homme, directed by Julien Duvivier.

In 1950, Charles Laughton played the first English-language Maigret in The Man on the Eiffel Tower,[8] adapted from same source: the 1931 novel A Battle of Nerves. The film co-starred Franchot Tone, Burgess Meredith, and Wilfrid Hyde-White.

In France, Albert Préjean portrayed Maigret in three films;[8] Picpus, Cecile Is Dead, and Majestic Hotel Cellars. A decade later, Jean Gabin played the part in three other films;[8] Maigret Sets a Trap, Maigret et l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre, and Maigret voit rouge. Heinz Rühmann played the lead in a 1966 European international co-production Enter Inspector Maigret.

Television[edit]

There have been numerous incarnations of Maigret on the small screen all around the world. He has been portrayed by French, British, Irish, Austrian, German, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, and Russian actors. A French version, Les Enquêtes du Commissaire Maigret, starred Jean Richard in 92 episodes between 1967 and 1990[10]-however, Simenon himself is said to have disliked Richard's Maigret because he would not take his hat off when entering a room.[11] Later, Bruno Cremer played the character in 54 adaptations between 1991 and 2005.

The Italian actor Gino Cervi played the character on Italian television from 1964 up to 1972 in Le inchieste del commissario Maigret; Simenon himself considered Cervi's interpretation of the character to be "very good."[11] This series resulted in 14 novels and 2 short stories being adapted.

In the Soviet Union, Russian theatre actor Boris Tenin [ru] portrayed Maigret in a number of TV films in the 1970s.[8] In Soviet cinema, apart from Boris Tenin, Maigret was portrayed by cinema actors Vladimir Samoylov and Armen Dzigarkhanyan.

In Japan, Kinya Aikawa[8] played Megure, a Japanese-born equivalent to the French Maigret, reinvented in a modern Japanese setting, in Tōkyō. Megure Keishi,[12] a 25-episode TV series aired from 14 April to 29 May 1978 on Asahi TV. Megure's wife was played by Sato Tomomi, who earned the praises of Simenon himself: "The best 'Madame Maigret' in my opinion, even including the French ones, was the 'Madame Maigret' on Japanese television. She was exactly right".[13]

The title role in the 1960s British Maigret TV series was played by the actor Rupert Davies, who made his debut on 31 October 1960. Davies took over the part after Basil Sydney, who appeared as Maigret in the original transmitted pilot, proved unavailable owing to ill-health. Davies went on to star in 52 adaptations for BBC TV in that decade. His portrayal won two of the highest accolades: his versions were dubbed into French and played across the Channel; and Simenon himself said of Davies "At last, I have found the perfect Maigret!"[14] The theme tune to the TV series was composed by Ron Grainer.[15]

Granada Television produced an adaptation of Maigret for ITV in 1992 and 1993 in which Michael Gambon starred as Maigret; there were 12 adaptations in the two series. An earlier version, Maigret (1988) on ITV cast Richard Harris in the lead role, with a somewhat idiosyncratic reading of the character.[according to whom?] Rowan Atkinson plays Maigret in Maigret for TV-films made by ITV from 2016. The first two episodes were adapted from Maigret Sets a Trap and Maigret's Dead Man.[16] Two further episodes were broadcast in 2017, adapted from Maigret at the Crossroads[17] and Maigret in Montmartre.[18]

Radio[edit]

Maurice Denham played Chief Inspector Maigret in a series of three-quarter-hour dramatizations of the novels on BBC Radio 4 beginning in 1976, with Michael Gough playing Georges Simenon. The format of each play would begin with Maigret and Simenon sitting together discussing some fact or event which would then lead into Maigret's recounting a particular case, with Simenon asking questions or commenting from time to time. After Denham's death, the series was continued in 2003 with Nicholas Le Prevost playing a gruffer, more earthy Maigret and Julian Barnes playing Simenon.

Comics[edit]

Jacques Blondeau adapted the novels into the comic series Maigret (1950–53), published in Samedi Soir and Paris Journal.[19] Rumeu (drawings) and Camille Dulac (script) adapted the Maigret story L'Affaire Nahour into the comic strip Maigret in 1969. Between 1992 and 1997 the series Maigret inspired five albums, drawn by Philippe Wurm [fr] and Frank Brichau [fr].[20]

Other appearances[edit]

Inspector Juzo Megure from Detective Conan is loosely based on Maigret,[citation needed] in both appearance and name. Both are police inspectors, and are known for wearing hats and overcoats. The rendering in the Japanese syllabary for Megure and Maigret is the same (me-gu-re; in other words, the names are pronounced the same in Japanese).[citation needed]

Maigret himself was also highlighted in volume 5 of the Detective Conan manga's edition of "Gosho Aoyama's Mystery Library", a section of the graphic novels where the author introduces a different detective (or occasionally, a villain) from mystery literature, television, or other media.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sansom, Ian (20 November 2013). "The quiet commissaire: the extraordinary ordinariness of Maigret". New Statesman. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  2. ^ Wenger, Murielle; Trusel, Stephen (2017). Maigret's World: A Reader's Companion to Simenon's Famous Detective. McFarland & Company. p. 2. ISBN 978-1476669779.
  3. ^ "Penguin to publish 75 Maigret novels". Thebookseller.com. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  4. ^ Lawson, Mark (25 March 2016). "Inspecting Maigret: Rowan Atkinson puts on his thinking hat". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Haining, Peter. "The Great Detectives: Maigret". The Strand Magazine. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b Wenger, Murielle; Trusel, Stephen (2017). Maigret's World: A Reader's Companion to Simenon's Famous Detective. McFarland & Company. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-1476669779.
  7. ^ "List of Penguin Reissues". Penguin.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 December 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Ousby, Ian (1997). Guilty Parties: A Mystery Lover's Companion. Thames & Hudson. pp. 132–134. ISBN 0-500-27978-0.
  9. ^ "The Maigret Statue at Delfzijl". Trussel.com. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Maigret star Richard dies". BBC News. 12 December 2001. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  11. ^ a b Gauteur, Claude (November 1989). "Simenon by Simenon". La Revue du Cinéma (454): 67–72.
  12. ^ Tôkyo Megure Keishi on the Japanese Wikipedia (in Japanese)
  13. ^ A picture of Kinya Aikawa as Maigret/Megure, and Simenon's quote from La Revue du Cinéma nº 454, November, 1989. Article retrieved on Trussel.com
  14. ^ Winn, Christopher (2009). I Never Knew That About Wales. Random House. p. 39. ISBN 9781407028231.
  15. ^ "Ron Grainer". BBC. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  16. ^ "What did you think of Maigret's Dead Man?". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  17. ^ Rees, Jasper (17 April 2017). "Maigret's Night at the Crossroads review - 'more straight faces from Rowan Atkinson'". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  18. ^ Sweeting, Adam (24 December 2017). "Maigret in Montmartre, ITV review - dirty deeds in clubland". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Jacques Blondeau". Lambiek.net. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Philippe Wurm". Lambiek.net. Retrieved 22 December 2018.

External links[edit]