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Your publisher being a former soldier, adventure stories have always held a certain appeal. Most of these are the product of another time, so if some seem to take a less than politically correct view of colonialism, that’s why. Just look at them as a product of their time, and feel free to look down on the protagonists as colonialist jerks if it makes you feel better. Or just enjoy the stories.
Ivanhoe: A Romance
Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe is one of the classics of “romantic” chivalry. Set in the days when Richard the Lionheart was away on Crusade, and his younger brother, John, was acting in his stead and plotting to insure his brother never returned, the protagonist is Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the disinherited son of the Saxon noble Cedric. Ivanhoe contains all the elements of classical romantic fiction, knights, kings, tournaments, impersonations, terrible perils, damsels in distress, and even an appearance by Robin Hood.
Annotated edition, with new Foreword.
Idylls of the King
Alfred, Lord Tennsyon
Tennyson’s lengthy cycle of narrative poems concerning King Arthur and his knights is here presented in a carefully formatted edition for Kindle (mobi), and other digital readers. The cycle was published over a 26 year period starting in 1859, and dedicated to Prince Albert, who died in 1861. (320 pages in PDF)
King Solomon’s Mines
H. Rider Haggard
H. Rider Haggard’s 1885 novel King Solomon’s Mines introduces his best known character, professional hunter and adventurer Allan Quatermain, who narrates his own story. Accompanying his friends Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good on a quest to find Sir Henry’s missing brother, the men cross a trackless desert and, after nearly dying in the effort, find themselves in Kukuanaland, where the custom is to simply kill strangers on sight. Surviving because of their “magic” (the Kukuanas have never seen guns before, and Good’s almanac allows them to “cause” a lunar eclipse), they soon find themselves caught up in a revolution when their servant, Umbopa, is revealed as Ignosi, the rightful king of Kukuanaland.
Includes a new Foreword, and explanatory notes.
The Lost World
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost World saw the first appearance of Professor George Edward Challenger, arguably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s second best known protagonist, who would appear in a total of five books between 1912 and 1929. The appropriately named Challenger was generally rude, self-
In The Lost World, after having his claims of finding prehistoric creatures on a remote plateau in South America dismissed as a fraud, Challenger leads a small expedition back to the plateau to have his discoveries confirmed by witnesses. Included in the party are Professor Summerlee, one of his more vocal scientific detractors; Sir John Roxton, an experienced adventurer and sportsman, and Edward Malone, a reporter for the Daily Gazette. Challenger’s initial reaction to Malone had been to give him a black eye, but he warms to him after realizing that Malone actually believes his limited evidence.
After a long journey the party arrives at the plateau. The "easy" way to the top having been blocked by an earthquake, they have to climb a rock pinnacle adjoining the sheer cliff and cut down a huge tree to create a bridge. Once there, the bridge falls into the abyss and the little party is trapped on the top of the plateau. Challenger, it quickly develops, was right. There are dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts in plenty, several of them decidedly unfriendly. Just to keep things interesting, the plateau is also the home to a large tribe of semi-
The modern reader will no doubt find Conan Doyle’s description of the dinosaurs to be rather outdated, but given the state of knowledge in 1912 this is no doubt to be expected. And despite any discrepancies with modern scientific theory, as an adventure story this is still one of the best.
Annotated edition, includes a new Foreword.