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Book Title: Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin|
The author of the book: Maurice Leblanc
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Loaded: 1084 times
Reader ratings: 7.7
Edition: Dodo Press
Date of issue: October 3rd 2005
ISBN 13: 9781406500011
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.72 MB
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”It was, indeed, the famous necklace, the legendary necklace that Bohmer and Bassenge, court jewelers, had made for Madame Du Barry; the veritable necklace that the Cardinal de Rohan-Soubise intended to give to Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France; and the same that the adventuress Jeanne de Valois, Countess de la Motte, had pulled to pieces one evening in February, 1785, with the aid of her husband and their accomplice, Rétaux de Villette.”
A necklace worthy of the very best thief.
The Queen’s Necklace is famous for being worth so much money, but also because of the scandal that surrounded it. It all begins with Marie-Antoinette becoming disenchanted with the lavish, licentious lifestyle of the Cardinal de Rohan-Soubise. She finally banned him from her company. The Cardinal was desperate to get back into her good graces and contacted Bohmer and Bassenge about this astoundingly expensive diamond necklace that they had been unsuccessful in tempting any of the Royal families to buy. Now there seems to be some confusion between the Queen, their mutual “friend” Madame Du Barry, and the Cardinal. The Queen didn’t want the necklace. Madame Du Barry seems to have told the Cardinal she did. The Cardinal made the arrangements on behalf of the Queen, but gave the necklace to Du Barry to deliver.
The necklace never arrived to the Queen.
When B and B does not receive their scheduled payments for the necklace, and the Queen insists that she never intended to purchase the necklace things got interesting in a hurry. The Cardinal was arrested in the Hall of Mirrors, very publicly, in front of the court.
Can’t you hear the gasps and the insect chatter of whispers?
Madame Du Barry and her accomplices were arrested. The Cardinal was found to be a dupe in the whole affair and was acquitted. Madame Du Barry on the other hand was found guilty and sentenced to be branded with the letter V for voleuse (thief).
I always thought V was for Vendetta.
Anyway in true French fashion, because they hated the Queen, the peasants interpreted this trial as a condemnation of the royals and assumed the Queen was involved in the whole affair.
Now at the time of our story the necklace is in the hands of an aristocratic family, fallen on hard times. The diamonds have been sold long ago, replaced by fake stones. The setting though is still worth a small fortune and it is the most prized possession of the family. It will prove to be the very first successful theft by the soon to be famous...Arsène Lupin.
That is not his real name, but then he has chosen a profession where using one’s own name is not advisable.
Maurice LeBlanc was asked by the newspaper he was working for to come up with a French version of the very popular Sherlock Holmes. The stories of this debonair French thief were wildly successful. So successful that at several points LeBlanc, as tired of his creation as Arthur Conan Doyle was of his, attempted to create new characters, but the public’s demand for Lupin was too insistent and soon he would have Lupin merge into the stories of his other lead characters.
Marius Jacob, inspiration for Arsène Lupin
LeBlanc based Arsène Lupin on the real life gentleman thief Marius Jacob. He formed a band called the workers of the night. Now Jacob was not your typical criminal. He had rules. He did not rob people in a useful profession such as architects, doctors, artists, etc., but he did consider bosses, judges, soldiers, and the clergy to be social parasites and worthy of robbery. He was very clever in how he committed his robberies leaving very little trace and a puzzle of how he actually accomplished the crime.
”Where force fails, cunning prevails.”
This is a series of short stories and are not in any chronological order. The reader is able to see Arsène Lupin at various stages of his career from a clever child to a young man trying to establish a reputation to a mature man who by merely mentioning his name can inspire terror and despair among those with bibelots they wish to continue to possess. Of course he will also inform you if you have been duped by an unscrupulous dealer.
"Arsène Lupin, gentleman- burglar, will return when the furniture is genuine."
The plots of the stories are clever and compelling. I would often intend to only read one story before moving on to other reading, but would find myself usually reading three or four before I could pull myself away. I was often fooled by the solutions and would actually find myself smiling at being so cunningly deceived. I found Lupin’s arrogance and posturing and daring amusing. He isn’t annoying at all. He is a man against the world and winning.
LeBlanc can’t resist having a story involving Sherlock Holmes. He very cleverly has Lupin and Holmes involved in the same mystery, but not competing against each other. There is no winner or loser, but at the same time it was fascinating to see LeBlanc’s view of Holmes. It was a very reverential piece of writing that I think must have pleased Doyle immensely.
In 2004 there was a film made starring Romain Duris, Eva Green and Kristin Scott Thomas that I intend to see very soon.
Highly recommended to those that appreciate clever thieves and are fans of Sherlock Holmes. I bought twelve novels as a digital bundle because the price was ridiculously cheap and I’m so glad I did because periodically I will need a fix of the gentleman-thief Arsène Lupin.
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Read information about the authorMaurice Leblanc (1864 - 1941) was a French novelist, best known as the creator of gentleman thief (later detective) Arsène Lupin.
Leblanc began as a journalist, until he was asked to write a short story filler, and created, more gallant and dashing than English counterpart Sherlock Holmes.
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