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Okay, so I may have pimped two people into the Raffles stories - someone in the comments to the [ profile] sherlockbbc  posting of a particular Sydney Paget illustration thought she'd read a Holmes story where Holmes cross-dressed, I felt duty-bound to point her towards 'The Rest-Cure', a story in which Bunny, the sidekick of the gentleman thief Raffles, dresses up as a lady - hair, makeup, EVERYTHING - for no apparent reason other than, I don't know, boredom? wanting to entertain Raffles? - in any case, I love Raffles enough that I will now attempt to pimp everyone into Raffles. There isn't much fic - there is some nice stuff at the AO3 -  and the stories are obviously not as good as the Holmes stories, but they're very fun and utterly utterly gay. And George Orwell liked them too. And they were written in the 1890s by Conan Doyle's brother-in-law, E.W. Hornung, almost as a kind of 'well there you go writing a detective, haha I will write a CRIMINAL' - it is important in the history of crime fiction that the Holmes stories don't just inspire people to write about detectives, they inspire writing about more complicated criminals

The first volume, The Amateur Cracksman, is, quite sweetly, dedicated 'To ACD. This Form Of Flattery.'

If you have ever read Sherlock Holmes and thought 'they're in love, it's darling - but it's a bit chaste isn't it, I wish Watson wouldn't be so coy', you will read Raffles and think 'holy hot damn what is this'; I advise skipping to the excerpt at the end of this post if you want the concrete proof of this.

raffles raffles raffles )

The first story is 'The Ides Of March'. Go and read it if you like, I'll still be here. I'm going to paste in the incredibly romantic ending of that at the end of this post anyway, the link is for if you want to read the story from the beginning.

and now I'm going to paste in some of the Orwell essay 'Raffles And Miss Blandish' behind the cut because he anatomises very well a) the appeal the Raffles stories have, and b) their morality; the rest of the essay contrasts Raffles with a pulpy 30s crime novel.

from George Orwell's essay about crime fiction 'Raffles And Miss Blandish' )

AND NOW, the super-slashy, don't-even-need-goggles ending of 'The Ides Of March', the first Raffles story. 

spoilers obviously for this story, it is after all the END of it )


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April 2011

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