Ernest William Hornung (1866-1921) was born in Middlesborough, England, and educated at Uppingham School, Rutland. He spent two years in Australia for his health, returning to England in 1886. In 1893, he married Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's sister Constance and five years later the first of his stories of Raffles the gentleman burglar appeared in Cassell's Magazine. More stories followed and proved extremely popular. The first collection of the exploits of A.J. Raffles and his friend Bunny Manders was published as The Amateur Cracksman in 1899. The characters of Raffles and Bunny were possibly inspired by his brother-in-law's creations, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, although they are on the opposite side of the law.

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