The Complete Raffles (Everyman) Paperback – 4 Nov 1993
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A REVIEW OF `RAFFLES: AMATEUR CRACKSMAN' BY E.W. HORNUNG
Imagine that you are playing the board game, `Twenty Questions' and the category is "Who am I?" What would your answer be to the following clues?
1. I am a literary character created in the late nineteenth century whose adventures continued into the early twentieth century.
2. Most of my adventures are chronicled in short story format.
3. I live at a fashionable London address.
4. My work is carried out on the scenes of crimes.
5. I am a master of disguise.
6. I carry out my work with a sidekick who joined me in my first written adventure.
7. My stories are narrated by my side kick.
8. My assistant is often frustrated by my withholding of vital information during the course of a story.
By the time you get to the third or fourth clue, no doubt you would be punching the air in triumph and shouting out the name, "Sherlock Holmes". If you did, you would be WRONG. Let's add another couple of clues:
9. I operate on the wrong side of the law, specialising in burglary.
10. I am often unsuccessful.
Clearly these are not descriptions of Baker Street's finest. Instead, all ten clues apply to one of Holmes's contemporaries, the thieving gentleman, A.J. Raffles. However, without the addition of 9 and 10, the parallels are remarkable. To further entwine the two, there was a family connection between the authors, as Raffles was created by E.W. Hornung, the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Nevertheless, to simply condemn Raffles as nothing more than a slightly-warped rehash of Sherlock Holmes is to do both author and character a disservice.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you've read all of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories and want to read more, Raffles is the closest that I've found.