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This early work by Ernest William Hornung was originally published in 1899 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. 'The Amateur Cracksman' is the first collection of short stories featuring the charming A. J. Raffles. Arthur Raffles is a prominent member of London society, and a national sporting hero. As a cricketer he regularly represents England in Test matches. He uses this as a chance to commit a number of burglaries, primarily stealing valuable jewellery from his hosts. In this he is assisted by his friend, the younger, idealistic Bunny Manders. Both men are constantly under the surveillance of Inspector Mackenzie of Scotland Yard who is always thwarted in his attempts to pin the crimes on Raffles. Ernest William Hornung was born in Middlesbrough, England in 1866. After working briefly as a journalist, and publishing a series of poems in The Times, Hornung created the character for which he is best-remembered: A. J. Raffles, a “gentleman thief” plying his trade in Victorian London.