Arsène Lupin  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Arsène Lupin is the name of a fictional gentleman thief who appears in a book series of detective fiction / crime fiction novels written by French writer Maurice Leblanc, as well as a number of non-canonical sequels and numerous film, television, stage play and comic book adaptations.

Overview

A contemporary of Arthur Conan Doyle, Maurice Leblanc was the creator of the character of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin who, in France, has enjoyed a popularity as long-lasting and considerable as Sherlock Holmes in the English-speaking world.

There are twenty volumes in the Arsène Lupin series written by Leblanc himself, plus five authorized sequels written by the notorious mystery writing team of Boileau-Narcejac, as well as various pastiches.

The character of Lupin was first introduced in a series of short stories serialized in the magazine Je Sais Tout, starting in No. 6, dated 15 July 1905.

Arsène Lupin is a literary descendant of Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail's Rocambole. Like him, he is clearly a force for good, while operating on the wrong side of the law. Those whom Lupin defeats, always with his characteristic gallic style and panache, are worse villains than he. Lupin is somewhat similar to A. J. Raffles and anticipates characters such as The Saint.

The character of Arsène Lupin might have been based by Leblanc on French anarchist Marius Jacob, whose trial made headlines in March 1905 ; but Leblanc had also read Octave Mirbeau's Les 21 jours d'un neurasthénique (1901), which features a gentleman thief named Arthur Lebeau, and seen Mirbeau's comedy Scrupules (1902), whose main character is a gentleman thief.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Arsène Lupin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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