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3984TRIVIA

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  • KUMAR BHATIA
    Jul 11, 2013
      Dear 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
      intrepid Raffles.
      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
      and partner-in-crime.
      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 .

      Kumar Bhatia


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