A. J. Raffles is an 'amateur cracksman' and a gentleman-thief who with his wit and ingenuity befools everyone to get what he wants. Raffles is an antihero. Although a thief, he never steals from his hosts, he helps old friends in trouble. Additionally, the recognition of the problems of the distribution of wealth is a recurrent subtext throughout the stories. Raffles is, in many ways, a deliberate inversion of Sherlock Holmes on which he is based – he is a "gentleman thief", living at the Albany, a prestigious address in London, playing cricket for the Gentlemen of England and supporting himself by carrying out ingenious burglaries. He is called the "Amateur Cracksman", and often, at first, differentiates between himself and the "professors" – professional criminals from the lower classes. The critics complained about the criminal aspect; The Spectator declared "this sort of book presents crime in a form too entertaining and attractive to be moral". Artist Bio Author: Ernest William Hornung (1866-1921) 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.