Difference between revisions of "Raffles"
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Revision as of 06:29, 11 July 2020
Raffles is the name given to two (unrelated) fictional characters, as well as to a number of dramatized versions of the adventures of the famous "gentleman thief".
The fictional stories about "Raffles"
The original Raffles was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories and written by E. W. Hornung, brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle and first appeared in the story "The Ides of March" (1898). Most of Hornung's Raffles stories were first published in magazines and were later published in four books (three short story collections) by E. W. Hornung. They are: The Amateur Cracksman (1899) The Black Mask (1901) and A Thief in the Night (1905). A novel called Mr. Justice Raffles was published in 1909.
An interesting South African connection in Hornung's "Raffles" saga is the story of his involvement as an enlisted soldier in the Anglo Boer War and his death in battle.
Raffles also features in stories and pastiches written by Barry Perowne, Peter Tremayne, Richard Foreman, and other authors.
Clearly in imitation of the English stories, the German writers Kurt Matull and Theo Blakensee created a similar character called "John C. Raffles" or "Lord Lister" , also known as "Raffles", who first appeared in a German pulp magazine story entitled "Lord Lister, genannt Raffles, der Meisterdieb" ("Lord Lister, called Raffles, the Master Thief") in 1908. These stories were particularly popular in Europe, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Indonesia.
The widely known French "gentleman thief" Arsène Lupin was first created by Maurice Leblanc in 1905, after the appearance of the first Raffles stories, and - like Horning's creation - was definitely influenced by the Sherlock Holmes stories, though most probably also by the "Raffles" series. While "Raffles" is better known in the English speaking world, Arsène Lupin is the better known in Europe and South America.
For more on the characters and the stories of the characters, see for example:
"A. J. Raffles (character)" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._J._Raffles_(character),
"Raffles (Lord Lister)" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffles_(Lord_Lister)
"Arsène Lupin" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsène_Lupin
"Raffles" on stage
The original text
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
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