A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
A Thief in the Night is a 1905 collection of short stories by Ernest William Hornung, featuring his popular character A. J. Raffles. It was the third book in the series, and the final collection of short stories. In it, Raffles, a gentleman thief, commits a number of burglaries in late Victorian England.
Chronicler and accomplice Bunny Manders narrates additional adventures which he had previously omitted, from various points in their criminal careers. All but the last two stories take place while A. J. Raffles and Bunny Manders are still respectable gentlemen and Raffles is still an amateur cricketer who lives in rooms at the Albany.
The two remaining stories take place after Raffles and Bunny become professional criminals of ruined reputations: the second last story follows after the events of “An Old Flame”, and the final story takes place after the events of “The Knees of the Gods.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ernest William Hornung (7 June 1866 – 22 March 1921) was an English author and poet known for writing the A. J. Raffles series of stories about a gentleman thief in late 19th-century London. Hornung was educated at Uppingham School. As a result of poor health he left the school in December 1883 to travel to Sydney, where he stayed for two years. He drew on his Australian experiences as a background when he began writing, initially short stories and later novels.
In 1898 he wrote “In the Chains of Crime”, which introduced Raffles and his sidekick, Bunny Manders; the characters were based partly on his friends Oscar Wilde and his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, and also on the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, created by his brother-in-law, Arthur Conan Doyle. The series of Raffles short stories were collected for sale in book form in 1899, and two further books of Raffles short stories followed, as well as a poorly received novel. Aside from his Raffles stories, Hornung was a prodigious writer of fiction, publishing numerous books from 1890, with A Bride from the Bush to his 1914 novel The Crime Doctor.