Today the fame of E.W. Hornung rests upon his stories about Raffles, the gentleman burglar. However, among his works are many other novels, short stories, poetry and reminiscences of the First World War, in which he served and during which his son perished. During the war, he developed an admiration for the Australian servicemen and an interest in that country.
This whimsical story starts off in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg, which later became famous on two accounts. The first related to a local arts colony which later became known as the Heidelberg school and which included many celebrated Australian artists. Later, Heidelberg became the site of the athletes’ village for the 1956 Olympic Games.
Diamond Creek, which was initially established as a gold mining town, is now on the outer fringe of the metropolitan area. The other suburbs mentioned in the story, Carlton and Fitzroy, are close to the city centre, and have since become extremely gentrified. Lygon Street is in Carlton, and is noted for its restaurants and occasional visitations from gangland celebrities.
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