Two writers, famous in their own countries for creating immortal characters: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in England and Maurice Leblanc in France. Their literary creations, Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupin are at two ends of the criminal spectrum. Holmes is a sleuth while Lupin is a burglar. When Maurice Leblanc introduces Sherlock Holmes in one of his Arsene Lupin stories, Conan Doyle is outraged. He sues Leblanc, who promptly changes the character's name to “Herlock Sholmes” and continues featuring him in more stories with typical French insouciance! The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc marks the debut of this suave, debonair crook who is considered to be the French answer to Sherlock Holmes. Arsene Lupin is a gentleman, who “operates only in châteaux and salons” and “man of a thousand disguises: in turn a chauffeur, detective, bookmaker, Russian physician, Spanish bull-fighter, commercial traveler, robust youth and decrepit old man.” This master thief is a Robin Hood like figure who steals not just for his own gain, but for the ultimate good of someone else.
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