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Maurice Leblanc was a very prolific writer, mostly known as the father of Arsène Lupin. He published over 60 novels and short stories which have been translated into several languages. Arsène Lupin appeared for the first time by accident, because of an assignment from the editor of a new journal "Je sais tout", in 1905.
Maurice Leblanc was born in Rouen in 1864. Although a very good student, he abandoned his law studies to become a writer in Paris. In 1887, he published his first novel, "Une femme", a psychological study that enjoyed only moderate success. Although he had long career as a writer for periodicals, it was not until the creation of Arsène Lupin, that he gained in his forties international fame, equaled only by that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Lupin, the ultimate gentleman burglar, kept Maurice Leblanc busy for the next twenty-five years. Thanks to his creature, Maurice Leblanc became a popular writer.
Arsène Lupin is one of the most french popular heroes. The gentleman-thief is a master of disguise, whose criminal activities have more or less " unselfish " grounds, and is often described as a French counterpart to Doyle's creation. Both characters were bound to meet and, in an unprecedented act of literary pastiche and cross-over, Leblanc introduced Holmes in the short story "Sherlock Holmes arrives too late" in Je Sais Tout No. 17, 15 June 1906. In it, Holmes meets a young Lupin for the first time. After legal objections from Conan Doyle, the name was changed to "Herlock Sholmes" when the story was collected in book form in Volume 1.
Sholmes returned in two more stories collected in Volume 2, "Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes", and then in a guest-starring role in the prodigious battle for the secret of the Hollow Needle in "L'Aiguille creuse". He was also mentionned in a few more books.
Like Holmes in the English-speaking world, Lupin has enjoys a similar popularity in Francophone countries, lasting up to this day despite Maurice Leblanc's death in 1941 at Perpignan.