Arsene Lupin Contre Herlock Sholmes

Cover of 1963 edition of Arsene Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes

French author Maurice-Marie-Émile Leblanc was born on December 11, 1864, in Rouen, France. A novelist and journalist, he is best known today as the creator of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief featured in more than sixty stories.

Lupin’s first appearance – “L’Arrestation d’Arsène Lupin” – was published in Je Sais Tout on July 15, 1905, and the character quickly gained a following. The following year, Je Sais Tout published the story “Sherlock Holmès Arrive Trop Tard” (“Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late”). That story came to the attention of Arthur Conan Doyle, who objected to the violation of his copyright. When the collected Lupin stories were published in book form in 1910, it was under the title Arsène Lupin Versus Herlock Sholmes. For the UK edition, the name was Arsène Lupin versus Holmlock Shears.

A century later (give or take a few years), Lupin and the now-public-domain Holmes met in digital format in the computer game Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin (Frogwares, 2007 (original) and 2010 (remastered)). In the game, Lupin tries to steal five valuable items in order to humiliate Britain, and it is up to Holmes (and some other characters) to stop him.

Sources: A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes, by Leah Guinn and Jaime N Mahoney; Encyclopædia Britannica

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Arsene Lupin Contre Herlock Sholmes — 2 Comments

  1. Here’s another, somewhat round-about Sherlockian connection…. The translator of that 1910 American edition of Arsene Lupin was Olive Harper (the pen name of Helen Burrell d’Apery). She also wrote the novelization/adaptation of “The Burglar and the Lady”, a 1905 play by Langdon McCormick that pitted A. J. Raffles against Sherlock Holmes (though in her novelization Holmes does not appear for some reason). As a point of more interest, though not Sherlockian interest, “The Burglar and the Lady” was a stage vehicle for James “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, the famous boxer who became an actor after hanging up his gloves — who also starred in the 1914 film version. He played Raffles on both the stage and screen.