Welcome

This site contains the full text of E. W. Hornung’s Raffles stories with extensive annotations (now including the 1903 play by Eugene Presbrey), as well as more than 200 illustrations that accompanied them in the magazines and newspapers where they originally appeared. The notes contain spoilers which are unmarked, so if you would prefer to read them without annotations the first time, you can download the books for free at Project Gutenberg.

A. J. Raffles, gentleman thief, was once a household name, and his stories once rivaled those of Sherlock Holmes in popularity — and in fact Hornung and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were brothers-in-law.Β  Hornung was married to Conan Doyle’s sister Constance.

Although not as widely read as they once were, we think these stories deserve a wider audience and we hope to do our part to save them from obscurity.

–Sarah Morrissey and Genevieve L. Morrissey

Raffles Redux is now available as an ebook in the Kindle store.

The Reappearance of Raffles - Cyrus Cuneo

The Raffles stories are in the public domain.Β  All other text copyright Β© 2014 Sarah Morrissey and Genevieve L. Morrissey.

31 Responses to Welcome

  1. kevin eeley says:

    hi, ive seen listed
    the reappearance of raffles listed on a couple of sites,
    is this a compilation book or one ive missed,

    http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDM2319008&R=2319008

    also i brought a picture, which i hoped may be a raffles illustration.
    but haven`t found anywhere, πŸ™
    its by cyrus cuneo
    its a chap in cheap clothes but polished shoes,
    but it is in full colour, unlike the ones from the first novel πŸ™

    i can email a copy if you would like to see if you know it ? πŸ˜‰

    with thanks kevin.

  2. James says:

    Hello to the creators of RafflesRedux.com,

    I discovered Raffles when I was 12 or 13 – being a long-time fan of the antithetical champion of law: Sherlock Holmes – and I fell in love. The stories were escapist gems: tense, exciting, beyond charming, witty, dramatic and– I’ll stop there: I’m preaching to the already converted and devout after all Haha

    However, I would like to say thank you for creating this wonderful website! The detail with which you have annotated the stories, the loving way you have collated the illustrations and the beautiful lay-out of the tales are all sublime; your efforts are beyond appreciated!

    For a long time I had scoured the internet in vain, finding only little references to the Cracksman here and there in reviews, Goodreads comments, notes on the TV series, and Amazon descriptions when I was purchasing the books. But, here at your site, there is at last a true monument and celebration to the stories.

    Thank you once-again,

    James Inkster, England, 16.

    • RafflesRedux says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Information on Raffles and Hornung is not easy to come by and we wanted to share what we’d managed to find with other fans like you. Your kind words mean a lot!

  3. kevin eeley says:

    hi, just a quick note,
    I finally got an original raffles image,
    its the image of the chap tied to a chair from the rest cure,
    http://www.rafflesredux.com/the-rest-cure/

    yaa me πŸ™‚

    regards and thanks for the work you have accomplished on your site

    kevin.

  4. Leah says:

    Hello! I am writing a paper for University on the topics of sexuality and gender in relation to the Raffles series. I am using the redux as a baseline for many of my points, but I fear that my professors will not take it as a source. Would you be able to provide me with links to sources for some pieces of the information? It would really be a big help.

  5. RT says:

    To the lovely people behind Raffles Redux,
    I just wanted to thank you so much for putting together all the Raffles stories on this website!
    I got into reading the series quite a few years ago but had to stop after reading A Thief in the Night as my library didn’t have Mr Justice Raffles. Just finished the novel and I think I enjoyed the story even more because of your annotations. Always glad to see more Raffles fans out there!

    Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. Matthew says:

    Love the site! There seems to be a dearth of Raffles reprinting, made all the more odd by its public doman status. Is it all due to cringe-inducing caricatured villain of “Mr. Justice Raffles”? The stories in general may lack the iconic scenes and moments of the Holmes canon, but as a genre fiction writer, Hornung’s prose is definitely Doyle’s equal. is In any case, you should get a book deal for these annotations!

  7. FitzoliverJ says:

    Wonderful – I’ve been looking for the script of the play for years! (Any chance of the sequel being found as well?)

  8. Alan Barksdale says:

    Thank you muchly for this. I have posted about it on the Facebook page of our local Sherlockian society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1454146627974269/

  9. I was interested to see that you now feature an annotated copy of the Presbrey play. Four years ago, in October 2015, a friend wrote to me as follows:

    ‘Maybe you can solve a problem that I have been unable to unscramble for 40 years. I have a copy of the play that Hornung wrote with Eugene Presbrey. It is inscribed by Hornung: β€œTo Cecil, creator of the title part in London.” My recollection is that Gerald Du Maurier created the role.’

    I could only surmise that there had been a pre-London run of the play, so that various problems could be ironed out, and that a less well-known actor had been filling in until Du Maurier was available. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that it had been staged in Brixton at one point, prior to its arrival in the West End, but was unable to get any further on ascertaining details.
    Any thoughts you have about the identity of the mysterious ‘Cecil’ would be much appreciated. (I had a guess that it might have been Cecil Raleigh (1855-1914) but this was a pure stab in the dark.)

    • Genevieve Morrissey says:

      I’m afraid Sarah and I don’t have anything much to offer on this point except to say that Cecil Raleigh seems like a very good guess. I know Raleigh once characterized himself as “not a very good actor”, and he seems to have had several successes as a playwright by the time “The Amateur Cracksman” was produced, so maybe an autographed script was compensation enough for being replaced by Du Maurier in the role.

      Sorry not to be more useful. If you ever get better information, we’d be glad to hear it!

      G L Morrissey

  10. Bernard Hornung says:

    Thank you for creating this website.

    E W Hornung was my great great uncle.

    • Genevieve Morrissey says:

      I’m so pleased to hear from you! Sarah and I enjoyed the Raffles stories so much ourselves that we wanted to help other people enjoy them, too.

  11. Maria says:

    Hi! I bought the Annotated Raffles off Kindle and I’m thoroughly in love, both with the stories and the annotations (which I’m enjoying just as much!) I want to thank you for the painstaking research and the sense of humor that shine through these footnotes. Cheers!

  12. Alex Batterbee says:

    Is there any way you could make the Annotated Raffles available on the UK Kindle store?
    I’m researching a project based on the original stories and it would be a tremendous help (full credit will be given).

  13. Generationkue says:

    book about the chess of love “, created by

  14. kevin eeley says:

    hi again πŸ™‚

    i may have picked up another raffles image ?
    do you recognise this illustration ?
    it’s also by Cyrus Cuneo, but i have not found it amongst the books.
    it may be wishful thinking, but his shoes seem to polished to be just a cheap thief πŸ˜‰

    https://image.invaluable.com/housePhotos/netherhampton/35/323435/H3027-L29641691.jpg

    again many thanks for your site, Kevin

  15. Crabby says:

    Thank you for preserving these! The annotations make it a lot easier to understand, and other period literature as well. I hadn’t heard about Raffles until I saw this site, but it’s one of my favourite series now.

  16. Brett says:

    Immense thanks for this website and the indispensable research you’ve done! The annotations have been so helpful.

    I wanted to comment on a couple of them, if that’s alright?

    1. “The Last Laugh”
    As a classical educator, I feel compelled to remark on #17. (Apologies if I state anything here that you already know–I am not trying to be patronizing, just to make sure everything I say is clear!)

    β€œAmicum tuum, cito!” would be a pretty direct Latin translation of something like “Your friend! [We must be] fast!” Crucially, though, Bunny admits he is translating “freely.” Let’s look at the two phrases here:

    “Vostro amico”–Obviously, “amico” is similar enough to its root word, “amicus” (and identical to it in its dative and ablative form, it being a second declension noun). As to the pronoun, notice that the Italian character is here being respectful and polite. He is using the second person (masculine) *plural* possessive pronoun, even though he is addressing a single individual, a classic sign of deference. (If he had used the singular, it would have been “tuo,” obviously very close to “tuus.”) “Vostro” is also quite close to its Latin root, “vester” (the plural masculine “your”). There’s no great leap involved in Bunny recognizing this as a courteous way of saying “your friend” (“vester amicus,” or “vestrum amicum” in the accusative, is similar enough to “vostro amico”).

    “Poco tempo”–This does not literally mean “no time to be lost,” Bunny’s (very) free translation. “Poco” means “little” or “few”; witness the musical notation “poco a poco” (“little by little”). I take this to mean something like “small time”, i.e., there’s very little time left for us. It is taken from the Latin word for “a few,” “paucus” (whence the English “paucity”), while “tempo” of course derives from Latin’s “tempus.” Again, “paucus/tempus” is close enough to “poco tempo”.

    Thus we see how Bunny’s classical education came to his, and Raffles’, rescue.

    2. “The Criminologists’ Club”
    As for #2, Gath obviously was a city of Israel’s enemies, the Philistines, as you note. This is why David did not want the news of King Saul’s death reported there; those who didn’t deserve to know would hear about it (and gloat). I think the analogy here is that the members of the club see themselves as being better than the common people, just like David sees Saul and Israel as being better than the Philistines, and don’t want their private affair sullied by being publicly known, just as David didn’t want the mourning of Saul sullied by having his unworthy enemies rejoice over it.

    I hope these are even a fraction as helpful to you as your work has been to me (and doubtless many others)!

    • Genevieve Morrissey says:

      Thank you so much for your comments! Sarah and I very much appreciate your insights!
      My Latin was decades old when we did these, so I knew I was getting no more out of what Hornung wrote than the bare sense of it (if that). I’m delighted to have the chance to understand it more fully, and although I am resigned to the fact that the details may not stick in my brain, I hope you will allow us to use the information you provided if–as we hope–we are able to re-issue this work soon with revised and more complete annotations. (We will, of course, give you full credit.)
      As for the information about Gath… Well, I was once my mother’s star Sunday School pupil, but like the Latin, that was many, many years ago. I fear she would be devastated to know how much I’ve forgotten of what she taught me.
      Again, your interest and kind words are very much appreciated!
      Genie Morrissey

  17. Quincey W says:

    Excellent website! Thanks so much for the hard work you put into the annotations. Would you ever consider releasing a print copy of the annotated versions of the stories?

  18. Bruce Aikin says:

    Hello! I am an American member of the Bootmakers of Toronto, the Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada. On Saturday, December 2nd, I gave a presentation entitled, “A Brief Introduction to A. J. Raffles,” to the Society. It was both in person and on Zoom so about 60 people heard it. I handed out a sheet of references, including the names of Hornung’s stories and some other references. I included your website. So, I hope you have gotten at least a few visits from Canada. I noticed that you do not have anything about Barry Perowne’s pastiches on your site. Perowne’s “Raffles Revisited,” is what lead me to the original stories. This was about 1978. I loaned the books to someone who promptly disappeared. When I tried to reorder them, they were out of stock. So, I gave up on Raffles, unfortunately. Doing the presentation allowed me to rediscover how good the stories are. I can now read them for free and have no fear of someone not returning my books. Do you have any resources about Perowne’s stories. I could not find a list on the internet. The Toronto Library system was the victim of a cyber-attack, so the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection could not help me prepare the presentation. The editor of the Society’s quarterly magazine has asked me to turn my paper into an article for publication, which will give Raffles a wider audience. I will be sure to include your site in the article.
    Have you ever read Philip Jose Farmer’s, “The Problem of the Sore Bridge – Among Others?” Any science fiction fans would find it a real joy.

    • RafflesRedux says:

      Thank you so much! I’m afraid we don’t have anything on the Perowne stories, but I see them on eBay and Abe Books frequently. I’ll put the Farmer story on my list to read. Sounds great!

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