Thursday, December 10, 2015

12/10/1892 A visit to the Black Museum

December 10, 1892.  In the basement of New Scotland Yard in London sat the Black Museum, a collection of relics of true crimes.  It wasn't open to the general public, but on this day three members of a cricket club were permitted in.  One was the editor of The Idler magazine, Jerome K. Jerome, most famous for the comic masterpiece Three Men In A Boat, which inspired Peter Lovesey's mystery Swing, Swing, Together.  The others were friends of his, and  contributors to the magazine.  E.W. Hornung was the creator or Raffles, the first "gentleman cracksman" or hero jewel thief in crime fiction.  This visit led to Hornung's story "The Raffles Relics."

The third member of the party was Hornung's future brother-in-law, a doctor named Arthur Conan Doyle.  Oh yes, he wrote a bit too. 

Jonathan Goodman pointed this event out in The Armchair Detective, in the Fall 1996 issue.

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