The Amateur Cracksman

The Amateur Cracksman is an 1899 short story collection by E. W. Hornung. It was the original short story collection by Hornung, featuring his most famous character, A. J. Raffles, a gentleman thief in late Victorian Great Britain. The book was very well received and spawned three follow-ups: two more short story collections, The Black Mask (1901) and A Thief in the Night (1904), as well as a full-lenh novel, Mr. Justice Raffles (1909).

Ernest William Hornung (7 June 1866 – 22 March 1921) was an English author and poet known for writing the A. J. Raffles series of stories about a gentleman thief in late 19th-century London. Hornung was educated at Uppingham School; as a result of poor health he left the school in December 1883 to travel to Sydney, where he stayed for two years. He drew on his Australian experiences as a background when he began writing, initially short stories and later novels.

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