Criminology, Class and Cricket: Raffles and Real Life

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-84
JournalLegal Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2013
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E W Hornung's character Raffles, first introduced to the public in 1898, not only aroused considerable interest at that time but created an enduring image of the suave, gentlemanly burglar far removed from the stereotype of the rough, professional thief more usually associated with the crime. This paper investigates both the creation of the character and the creation of the stereotype in the nineteenth century in an attempt to discover not only the secrets of the appeal of the Raffles, but also some of the characteristics of early criminological discourse, some of which may cast their shadows to the present day. It also highlights tensions between conceptions of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ status both in relation to the protagonist's lawful pastime, cricket, and his unlawful career of burglary.