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Thread: RAFFLES--E.W. Hornung

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    Talking RAFFLES--E.W. Hornung

    I've been reading a lot of E.W. Hornung lately and I adore Raffles. What do you think of the change from classic man-about-town to fugitive in the later books. And how about a comparison with Sherlock Holmes??
    Do you thing he was the prototype for the Jimmy Valentinish ''gentleman burglar''

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    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    "I've been reading a lot of E.W. Hornung lately and I adore Raffles. "
    Me too, well, not adore perhaps, but I've always enjoyed the books.

    "What do you think of the change from classic man-about-town to fugitive in the later books."
    I think the author was growing up, and feeling more responsible. Morality set in. Also, you might consider the fact that the earlier stories were written for a magazine and then published as collections, whereas the last was written as a novel. Different "rules" apply, in terms of character development and so on.



    "And how about a comparison with Sherlock Holmes??"
    There are points of similarity, but are they greater than can be explained that they were written at about the same time as stories in magazines for the same kind of people? Was Hornung not married to Conan Doyle's sister?


    "Do you think he was the prototype for the Jimmy Valentinish ''gentleman burglar''"
    Possibly, although Jimmy Valentine was created by O. Henry - a respectable man who had served jail time himself.
    Maybe the genre of gentleman crook originated in France. Consider Rocambole, created by du Terrier, and Arsene Lupin (France's answer to Sherlock Holmes) created by Leblanc.
    Last edited by Whifflingpin; 03-16-2009 at 03:32 PM.
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    Thanks!! Whifflingpin

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    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    I had read the Raffles stories just a few years ago in a complete edition (minus Judge Raffles) and enjoyed them for the period flavor. I did not get a sense of Raffles as a STRONG character (until the last story) but almost a tragic figure. Vast talents, wasted opportunities in life. I suspect I was taling the robberies a bit too seriously and felt very sorry for Bunnie the sidekick. Whiff was pretty spot on.

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