Macaulay

Arsène Lupin in America

Lupin

Maurice Leblanc, The Blonde Lady , New York, Doubleday, Page & Company  (1928)

One of the most successful characters of French crime fiction worldwide, Arsène Lupin, was introduced to French readers in the July 1905 issue of the magazine Je sais tout. The story “L’Arrestation d’Arsène Lupin,” is  somewhat paradoxically titled, considering that, far from stopping Lupin in his tracks, it became the first in a series comprising a total of 36 short stories and 19 novels. Arsène Lupin is introduced as he finds himself in the midst of a transatlantic journey, “five hundred miles from the French coast”. While this particular journey was thwarted by Lupin’s arrest, the books themselves fared better and Lupin’s adventures were soon translated into English, rapidly making their way across the Atlantic. The Exploits of Arsene Lupin were published in the same year in both France and in America (1907), the latter in a translation by Alexander Teixeira De Mattos (New York, Harper, 1907). Similarly, it took only a few months for the 1909 novelization of Leblanc and Francis de Croisset’s eponymous play to be published in New York, in October 1909. From then on, a succession of books by Le Blanc (sic) featuring Lupin took hold of the American market.

AL

Maurice Leblanc, Arsène Lupin, New York, Doubleday, Page & Company, October 1909, illustration by  H. Richard Boehm, translation by Edgar Jepson Continue reading

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