Bill Alder

Bill Alder is our August 2021 speaker on Georges Simenon, author of the well known Maigret series of detective novels.

Bill Alder has worked in the Department of Languages at the Open University (UK) since 2003, teaching French, writing learning materials and publishing articles on a range of language learning issues. He has a particular interest in crime fiction. He wrote ‘Maigret, Simenon and France’  (2012, Macfarland) and a study in French of Georges Simenon’s novels set wholly or partly in Normandy, ‘Simenon et Maigret en Normandie’  ( 2016 pbk, Presses Universitaires de Liège.) He has also published articles in English and French on different aspects of Simenon’s writings and the Maigret series in British, American and Belgian journals.

Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was a phenomenally successful author of crime fiction. His 75 Maigret novels and 28 Maigret short stories were published between 1931 and 1972 to great international acclaim.
His Maigret stories are regarded by many as having established a new direction in crime fiction, emphasizing social and psychological portraiture rather than focussing on a puzzle to be solved or on action. Bill’s book seeks to establish the extent to which Simenon’s portrait of French society is historically accurate and the nature of the influence of the author’s own class position and ideology on his fiction.