Simon Templar

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Simon Templar is a British fictional character known as The Saint, featured in a long-running series of books by Leslie Charteris published between 1928 and 1963. After that date, other authors collaborated with Charteris on books, until 1983; two additional works produced without Charteris' participation were published in 1997. The character has also appeared in motion pictures, radio dramas, comic strips, comic books and three television series.

Contents

Overview

Simon Templar is a thief known as The Saint because of his initials (ST), and because his heroic exploits fly in the face of an otherwise nefarious reputation. Templar has aliases, often using the initials S.T. such as "Sebastian Tombs" or "Sugarman Treacle". Blessed with boyish humor, he makes humorous and off-putting remarks, and leaves a "calling card" at his "crimes," a stick-figure of a man with a halo, the logo of both the books and the 1960s TV series.

The books allude to the possibility that Templar started his career as a criminal and suggest he developed the skills of a burglar. His origin remains a mystery, but in the books his income derives from the pockets of the "ungodly" (as he terms those who live by a less moral code than his own). There are references to a "ten percent collection fee" to cover expenses when he extracts large sums from victims, the remainder being returned to the owners, given to charity, shared among Templar's colleagues, or some combination of those possibilities.

Templar's targets include corrupt politicians, warmongers, and other low life. "He claims he's a Robin Hood," bleats one victim, "but to me he's just a robbing hood."[citation needed] Robin Hood appears one inspiration for the character; Templar stories were often promoted as featuring "The Robin Hood of modern crime", and this phrase to describe Templar appears in several stories. A term used by Templar to describe his "acquisitions" is "boodle" (a term also applied to the short story collection).

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