- Jul 11, 2013Dear friends and fellow Sherlockians,
Gentleman by Day-A Thief in the Night , Master Cracksman , Ladies Man ,
Accomplished Cricketer ,
Public School Alumni ,Member of Victorian London's Upper Class Crowd ,
Well dressed Dandy , Burgler Extraordinaire ! ..........
These are some of the adjectives that have been used to describe him.
Meet A.J. Raffles .A character created by E.W. Hornung , who incidentally
was Sir Arthur Conan Doyles brother-in-law , having married Doyle's sister
Constance in 1893 .
The first Raffles story appeared in Cassels Magazine in 1898 .
Hornung went on to write another 25 stories about the adventures of the
All stories were eventually published under three collections ;
1 ) The Amateur Cracksman ( 1899 )
2 ) The Black Mask ( 1901 )
3 ) A Thief in the Night - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman .
The personality of Raffles , as painted by the author , was , in a manner
of speaking , inversely based on Holmes .
In fact, in the first collection of stories - The Amateur Cracksman,-
Hornung paid tribute to Doyle by dedicating the collection
" TO A.C.D. , THIS FORM OF FLATTERY "
To which Doyle had this to say ;
" I THINK I MAY CLAIM THAT HIS (Hornung's ) FAMOUS CHARACTER RAFFLES , WAS
A KIND OF INVERSION OF
SHERLOCK HOLMES . BUNNY PLAYING WATSON .
I THINK THERE ARE FEW FINER EXAMPLES OF SHORT STORY WRITING IN OUR LANGUAGE
THAN THESE .
THOUGH I THINK THEY ARE RATHER DANGEROUS IN THEIR SUGGESTION .
I TOLD HIM ( Hornung ) SO ,BEFORE HE PUT HIS PEN TO PAPER , AND THE RESULT
, I FEAR , HAS BORNE ME OUT .
YOU MUST NOT MAKE A CRIMINAL A HERO "
The stories are admirably written and vividly depict the life-style of
English high-society in Victorian times .
They are as much riddles as the cases of Sherlock Holmes ,
The tales have been narrated by one Harry Manders or as he is popularly
known - Bunny ,Raffle' s Boswell , friend , confidant
Bunny is to Raffles what Watson is to Holmes .
Raffles was made into a TV serial by Yorkshire Television ( YTY ) and
telecast from 1975 to 1977 .
13 episodes in all .
Anthony Valentine , suited to a tee, to play the irascable Raffles, has
done a great job of it .
ably supported by Christopher Strauli as Bunny.
And five movies , one of them starring David Niven and Olivia de Haviland .
Interestingly , the saga of Raffles , features his " DEATH " in a story
and a subsequent RETURN - a-la-Holmes
Very interesting to read and equally a delight to watch .
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