The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc: A Review
“The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar” by Maurice Leblanc
Are you a fan of mystery, adventure, and humor? Do you enjoy reading stories about clever and charming characters who outwit their opponents with style and wit? If you answered yes, then you might want to read The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc. This book is a collection of nine short stories that introduce Arsène Lupin, a famous French thief who is also a master of disguise, a genius of deduction, and a lover of art and beauty. Lupin is often compared to Sherlock Holmes, but he is more playful, daring, and romantic than the British detective. He is also a gentleman who respects women, helps the poor, and challenges the rich and powerful.
In this article, we will give you a review of The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc, including:
- A brief summary of each story and its main characters
- An analysis of the themes and style of the book
- A comparison of the book with other works by Leblanc and other authors
- Some fun facts and trivia about the book and its author
- Some frequently asked questions and answers about the book
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A Brief Summary of Each Story and Its Main Characters
The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc consists of nine short stories that were first published in a French magazine called Je sais tout (I Know Everything) between 1905 and 1907. The stories are narrated by an unnamed admirer of Lupin, who claims to have met him several times and to have access to his personal papers. Here is a brief summary of each story and its main characters:
- The Arrest of Arsène Lupin: This is the first story that introduces Lupin and his nemesis, Inspector Ganimard, a police detective who specializes in catching Lupin. The story takes place on a transatlantic ship, where Lupin is traveling under the alias of Bernard d’Andrèzy, a wealthy and charming gentleman. He befriends a young American woman named Nelly Underdown, who is traveling with her uncle, a millionaire named Horace Velmont. Lupin steals some jewels from Velmont’s cabin, but he is discovered by Ganimard, who happens to be on board. Lupin is arrested, but he manages to escape with the help of Nelly, who falls in love with him.
- Arsène Lupin in Prison: This story shows how Lupin can escape from any prison and how he can use his influence and connections to manipulate people. The story begins with a letter from Lupin to Baron Nathan Cahorn, a rich and arrogant man who owns a valuable collection of paintings and jewels. Lupin, who is in prison awaiting trial, warns Cahorn that he will steal his treasures on September 27, unless he sends them to him beforehand. Cahorn hires Ganimard and two other detectives to guard his house, but Lupin still manages to rob him, using a clever disguise and a fake telegram. Lupin also reveals that he was arrested on purpose, because he wanted to see a woman he loved, who was also in prison.
- The Escape of Arsène Lupin: This story continues the previous one, and shows how Lupin escapes from prison with the help of his friends and accomplices. Lupin tells Ganimard that he will escape on October 11, and he does so, using a fake corpse, a hidden tunnel, and a motorboat. He also frees his lover, a woman named Clarisse d’Etigues, who was accused of poisoning her husband. Lupin and Clarisse flee to Italy, where they live happily for a while, until Lupin decides to return to France to resume his criminal activities.
- The Mysterious Traveller: This story introduces a new character, Sherlock Holmes, the famous British detective who is Lupin’s rival and equal. The story takes place on a train from Paris to Calais, where Lupin and Holmes are traveling under different aliases. Lupin is posing as a Russian prince named Paul Sernine, while Holmes is posing as a German doctor named Von Heumann. Lupin is trying to steal a document from a diplomat named Daubrecq, who is also on the train. Holmes is trying to stop him, but he is also interested in the document, which contains a secret treaty between France and England. Lupin and Holmes engage in a game of cat and mouse, trying to outsmart each other and to get the document. Lupin succeeds, but he also saves Holmes from being killed by Daubrecq’s men. Lupin and Holmes part ways, with mutual respect and admiration.
- The Queen’s Necklace: This story is based on a historical event, the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, which involved Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, and a notorious swindler named Jeanne de la Motte. The story takes place in 1785, when Lupin travels back in time using a device invented by his friend, a scientist named Cagliostro. Lupin pretends to be a priest named Balsamo, and he helps Jeanne de la Motte to obtain the necklace, which is worth 1.6 million francs. Lupin also meets Marie Antoinette, and he falls in love with her. He tries to save her from the scandal and the revolution, but he fails. He returns to his own time, with the necklace and a letter from the queen.
- The Seven of Hearts: This story is a sequel to the previous one, and shows how Lupin uses the necklace and the letter to blackmail the descendants of Jeanne de la Motte and her accomplices. The story takes place in 1906, when Lupin sends a letter to seven people, who are the heirs of the original conspirators. He tells them that he knows their secret, and that he will expose them unless they pay him a ransom. He also tells them that he has hidden the necklace and the letter in a secret place, and that he will give them clues to find them. He signs the letter with the symbol of the seven of hearts, which was the card that Jeanne de la Motte used to trick the cardinal de Rohan, who bought the necklace for her. Lupin plays with the seven heirs, who try to find the treasure and to kill him. Lupin outwits them all, and he keeps the necklace and the letter for himself.
- The Safe of Madame Imbert: This story shows how Lupin can rob any safe and how he can use his charm and generosity to win the hearts of women. The story begins with a newspaper article, which announces that Lupin has stolen 500,000 francs from the safe of Madame Imbert, a rich widow who lives in a villa near Paris. Lupin sends a letter to the newspaper, in which he denies the theft and claims that he only took 50,000 francs, which he needed for a good cause. He also says that he will return the money to Madame Imbert, who is his friend. Lupin visits Madame Imbert, who is actually in love with him, and he explains that he took the money to help a young couple, who were in trouble. He also reveals that he knows the secret of Madame Imbert’s fortune, which is based on a fraud. He convinces her to give up her wealth and to live with him in a simple and honest way.
- The Black Pearl: This story shows how Lupin can steal any jewel and how he can use his intelligence and courage to solve mysteries. The story takes place in a castle in Normandy, where Lupin is invited by the owner, the Duke of Charmerace, who is his friend. Lupin is interested in a black pearl, which belongs to the duke and which is worth 200,000 francs. Lupin steals the pearl, but he also discovers that the castle is haunted by a ghost, who is killing the guests. Lupin investigates the case, and he finds out that the ghost is actually a man, who is the duke’s cousin and who wants to inherit the castle and the pearl. Lupin exposes the murderer, and he returns the pearl to the duke, who is grateful and impressed.
- Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late: This story is a sequel to the fourth one, and shows how Lupin and Holmes meet again and how they compete and cooperate. The story takes place in Paris, where Lupin is living under the name of Prévost, a wealthy and respected businessman. He is married to Clarisse d’Etigues, who is pregnant with his child. Lupin receives a visit from Holmes, who has come to arrest him. Lupin invites Holmes to dinner, and he tells him that he is going to retire from his criminal career and to live a happy and honest life with his family. He also tells him that he has a surprise for him, which he will reveal after dinner. Lupin and Holmes have a friendly and witty conversation, in which they exchange compliments and challenges. Lupin reveals his surprise, which is a letter from the president of France, who pardons him for all his crimes and who thanks him for his services to the country. Lupin also shows Holmes a medal, which he received from the king of England, for helping him to recover the document that he stole in the fourth story. Lupin tells Holmes that he is now a free and honorable man, and that he has nothing to fear from him. Holmes congratulates Lupin, and he admits that he arrived too late to catch him. Lupin and Holmes part ways, with mutual respect and admiration.
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Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc:
- Q: Who was Maurice Leblanc and when did he live?
- A: Maurice Leblanc was a French writer who was born on November 11, 1864, and died on November 6, 1941. He is best known for creating the character of Arsène Lupin, who appeared in more than 20 novels and 40 short stories. He also wrote other works of fiction, such as historical novels, fantasy stories, and plays.
- Q: How did Maurice Leblanc come up with the idea of Arsène Lupin?
- A: Maurice Leblanc was inspired by several sources, such as the stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, the novels of Alexandre Dumas, and the real-life exploits of famous thieves and criminals, such as Rocambole, Vidocq, and Raffles. He also drew from his own experiences and observations of the society and culture of his time.
- Q: What are the main characteristics of Arsène Lupin?
- A: Arsène Lupin is a complex and fascinating character, who has many qualities and flaws. He is a thief, but he is also a gentleman, who respects women, helps the poor, and challenges the rich and powerful. He is a master of disguise, a genius of deduction, and a lover of art and beauty. He is playful, daring, and romantic, but he is also arrogant, selfish, and ruthless. He is loyal to his friends and accomplices, but he is also unpredictable and elusive. He is admired by many, but he is also hated and hunted by his enemies.
- Q: How did Arsène Lupin become popular and influential?
- A: Arsène Lupin became very popular and influential, especially in France, where he was seen as a symbol of the French spirit and culture. His stories were widely read and enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, who could relate to his adventures and his personality. His stories were also adapted into various media, such as movies, TV shows, comics, video games, and musicals. His stories also inspired other writers and artists, who created their own versions or variations of Lupin, such as Lupin III, a Japanese manga and anime series, or Lupin, a French Netflix series.
Check out The Tyranny of the Dark by Hamlin Garland Click here…
The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc is a classic book that introduces Arsène Lupin, a famous French thief who is also a gentleman, a master of disguise, a genius of deduction, and a lover of art and beauty. The book consists of nine short stories that show Lupin’s skills and exploits, as well as his encounters with his rivals and allies, such as Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Ganimard, and Clarisse d’Etigues. The book is a masterpiece of mystery, adventure, and humor, that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of France and Europe in the early 20th century. The book is a must-read for fans of mystery, adventure, and humor, who can enjoy the thrill and charm of Lupin’s extraordinary adventures.
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