Arsene Lupin was brought back into fashion by the TV series Lupin with Omar Sy, but did this character really exist ?

Who is Arsene Lupin ?

“He is the greatest of thieves, yes, but he is a gentleman. It takes hold of your values, without threatening you with a weapon. This is how the famous French fictional hero is presented. Arsène Lupin is a kind of Robin Hood, specializing in the art of disguise. This burglar character was invented by the writer Maurice Leblanc… more than a hundred years ago. In 1904, Maurice Leblanc published a tale entitled Un gentleman in the newspaper L’Auto. The gentleman in question was a car thief… Leblanc does not know it yet, but he has the character of Arsène Lupin there.

First published in a magazine

In fact, the following year, journalist Pierre Lafitte, an inventive publisher, launched a new magazine entitled Je sais tout and called on his friend Maurice Leblanc, whom he charged with writing stories and inventing a character. The arrest of Arsène Lupin appeared in July 1905. The success was immediate. We discover in his adventures that Arsène commits his first theft at the age of 6, to avenge his mother’s honor. Then, a poisonous countess puts him on the trail of four treasures linked to the history of France. He will devote himself entirely to their research.

His popularity persists over the years

Leblanc’s novels are full of twists, mysteries and quick-witted characters. The cult character will appear in 18 novels, 39 short stories and five plays. Rare are the literary characters whose popularity persists over the years and above all generate so many adaptations. In 2021, a TV series with Omar Sy highlights this seductive outlaw. As in the 1971 series, with Georges Descrières, viewers fall under the spell of the hero created by Maurice Leblanc. Thus many spectators rediscover the gentleman burglar in the guise of Omar Sy.

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