World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Maurice Leblanc

Maurice Leblanc
Born (1864-11-11)11 November 1864
Rouen, France
Died 6 November 1941(1941-11-06) (aged 76)
Perpignan, France
Nationality France

Maurice Marie Émile Leblanc (11 November 1864 – 6 November 1941) was a French novelist and writer of short stories, known primarily as the creator of the fictional gentleman thief and detective Arsène Lupin, often described as a French counterpart to Arthur Conan Doyle's creation Sherlock Holmes.[1]

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • Influences 2
  • Selected bibliography 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Biography

Leblanc was born in Rouen, Normandy, where he was educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille.[2] After studying in several countries and dropping out of law school, he settled in Paris and began to write fiction, both short crime stories and longer novels; his novels, heavily influenced by writers like Gustave Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant, were critically admired but met with little commercial success.

Leblanc was largely considered little more than a writer of short stories for various French periodicals when the first Arsène Lupin story appeared in a series of short stories serialized in the magazine Je Sais Tout, starting in No. 6, dated 15 July 1905. Clearly created at editorial request under the influence of, and in reaction to, the wildly successful Sherlock Holmes stories, the roguish and glamorous Lupin was a surprise success and Leblanc's fame and fortune beckoned. In total, Leblanc went on to write twenty-one Lupin novels or collections of short stories.

The character of Lupin might have been based by Leblanc on French anarchist Marius Jacob, whose trial made headlines in March 1905; it is also possible that Leblanc had also read Octave Mirbeau's Les 21 jours d'un neurasthénique (1901), which features a gentleman thief named Arthur Lebeau, and seen Mirbeau's comedy Scrupules (1902), whose main character is a gentleman thief. It was not influenced by E. W. Hornung's gentleman thief, A.J. Raffles, created in 1899, whom Leblanc had not read.

Leblanc's house in Étretat, today the museum Le clos Arsène Lupin.

By 1907 Leblanc had graduated to writing full-length Lupin novels, and the reviews and sales were so good that Leblanc effectively dedicated the rest of his career to working on the Lupin stories. Like Conan Doyle, who often appeared embarrassed or hindered by the success of Sherlock Holmes and seemed to regard his success in the field of crime fiction as a detraction from his more "respectable" literary ambitions, Leblanc also appeared to have resented Lupin's success. Several times, he tried to create other characters, such as private eye Jim Barnett, but eventually merged them with Lupin. He continued to pen Lupin tales well into the 1930s.

Leblanc also wrote two notable science fiction novels: Les Trois Yeux (1919), in which a scientist makes televisual contact with three-eyed Venusians, and Le Formidable Evènement (1920), in which an earthquake creates a new landmass between England and France.

Leblanc was awarded the Georgette Leblanc was his sister.

Influences

The character Arsène Lupin III, protagonist of the Japanese manga Lupin III beginning in 1967, was written as the grandson of Arsène Lupin, though without permission from Leblanc's estate. This was later the source of a lawsuit, though the copyright on Leblanc's work has since expired. When the anime version was broadcast in France, the character was renamed Edgar, le détective cambrioleur ("Edgar, the Burglar Detective"). The authors of the various Lupin III properties drew on Leblanc's novels as inspiration; notably, the film The Castle of Cagliostro was loosely based on La Comtesse de Cagliostro (The Countess of Cagliostro).

Selected bibliography

  • Une femme (1893)
  • Armelle et Claude (1897)
  • Voici des ailes (1898)
  • Les Lèvres jointes (1899)
  • L’Enthousiasme (1901)
  • Un vilain couple (1901)
  • Gueule rouge (1904)
  • 80 chevaux (1904)
  • La Pitié, Play (1906)
  • L’Aiguille creuse ("The Hollow Needle") (1909)
  • 813 (1910)
  • La Frontière ("The Frontier")(1911)
  • Les Trois Yeux ("The Three Eyes") (1919)
  • La Robe d’écaille rose (1920)
  • Le Formidable Événement ("The Tremendous Event") (1920)
  • Le Cercle rouge (1922)
  • Dorothée, danseuse de corde (US: "The Secret Tomb", UK: "Dorothy the Rope Dancer") (1923)
  • La Vie extravagante de Balthazar (1925)
  • Le Prince de Jéricho ("Man of Mystery") (1930)
  • Les Clefs mystérieuses (1932)
  • La Forêt des aventures (1933)
  • Le Chapelet rouge (1934)
  • L’Image de la femme nue ("Wanton Venus") (1934)
  • Le Scandale du gazon bleu (1935)
  • De minuit à sept heures ("From Midnight to Morning") (1937)

References

  1. ^  
  2. ^ Lycée Pierre Corneille de Rouen - History

External links

  • Works by Maurice Leblanc at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Maurice Leblanc at Internet Archive
  • Works by Maurice Leblanc at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Le Clos Arsène Lupin, Maison Maurice Leblanc (museum)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.