Vidocq, François


Vidocq, François

▪ French detective
born July 24, 1775, Arras, Fr.
died May 11, 1857, Paris

      adventurer and detective who helped create the police de sûreté (“security police”) in France.

      A venturesome, sometimes rash youth, Vidocq had bright beginnings in the army, fighting in the Battles of Valmy and Jemappes in 1792. After having spent several periods in prison, mostly for petty offenses, and having tried his hand at a number of trades, he offered his services to the state in 1809 and created a new police department under Napoleon. His experience of life among thieves in Arras, Paris, and the provinces contributed to the effectiveness of the security brigade. He resigned in 1827 to start a paper and cardboard mill, where he employed former convicts. The business was a failure, and in Louis-Philippe's reign he again became chief of the detective department. Dismissed in 1832 for a theft that he allegedly organized, Vidocq created a private police agency, the prototype of modern detective agencies. It was, however, soon suppressed by the authorities.

      Known all over France as a remarkably audacious man, Vidocq was a friend of such authors as Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Sue, and Alexandre Dumas père. Several works were published under Vidocq's name, but it is doubtful that he wrote any of them. The figure of Vidocq is believed to have inspired Balzac's creation of the criminal genius Vautrin, one of the most vivid characters to appear in his novelistic series La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vidocq, François-Eugène — (1775 1857)    police official    Born in Arras, François Eugène Vidocq was sentenced to eight years at Brest for counterfeiting, but escaped after three years. He was imprisoned a number of other times for robbery and then, in 1809, turned… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Vidocq — (François) (1775 1857) aventurier français. Bagnard évadé, il devint espion de la police (1809) puis chef de la Sûreté. Les Mémoires parus sous son nom (1828 1829) inspirèrent à Balzac le personnage de Vautrin …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Vidocq (serie televisee) — Vidocq (série télévisée) Vidocq Titre original Vidocq Genre Série policière Créateur(s) Georges Neveux Marcel Bluwal Musique Jacques Loussier Pays d’origine   …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vidocq (série télévisée) — Vidocq Titre original Vidocq Genre Série policière Créateur(s) Georges Neveux Marcel Bluwal Claude Loursais Production Etienne Laroche Musique Serge Gainsbourg Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vidocq (film 2001) — Vidocq (film, 2001) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vidocq. Vidocq est un film français réalisé par Pitof, sorti en 2001. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vidocq (film, 1938) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vidocq. Vidocq est un film français de Jacques Daroy sorti en 1938 d après les mémoires de Eugène François Vidocq. Sommaire 1 Synopsis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vidocq (película) — Vidocq Título Vidocq Ficha técnica Dirección Pitof Dirección artística Hervé Gallet Producción Dominiqu …   Wikipedia Español

  • VIDOCQ (E. F.) — VIDOCQ EUGÈNE FRANÇOIS (1775 1857) Élevé au niveau du mythe littéraire, moins pour la publication de ses Mémoires que pour les personnages de Vautrin et de Valjean qu’il aurait inspirés à Balzac et à Hugo, Vidocq appartient surtout à l’histoire… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Vidocq — may refer to: *Vidocq (2001 film) *Vidocq Society *Eugène François Vidocq …   Wikipedia

  • Vidocq — ist: Der Titel eines französischen Fantasyfilms: Vidocq (Film) Vidocq ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Eugène François Vidocq (1775–1857), französischer Kriminalist Diese Seite ist eine Begriffskläru …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.