Amazing as it may seem, this novel was written in 1891, the same year that Doyle produced "A Study in Scarlet," the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes & Company. Reading portions aloud clearly revealed the awkward dialogue and endless intervening descriptive passages which hardly, if ever, advance the predictable plot, was painful to reader and listener both--but rather campy when presented with opportunities for melodramatic accents, etc. The author's historic British historical pretensions, the use of archaic names for 13th Century armor and equipage and geographic English and French locations presents a plethora of arcane imagination or remembered information. However, the edition that fell to hand, published by the Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, NY, MCMXXII (1922) with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth is really valued for the artist's interpretations of the tedious and predictable story of knights errant and erroneous.--submitted by Gordon H.
This is a work of historical fiction written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Set in the 1300s, the novel follows the adventures (and misadventures) of a young man named Alleyne Edricson who journeys into the real world for the first time. In doing so, he encounters all sorts of people and situations that he would never have imagined. The use of the period-correct professions, languages, names, weaponry, and armor, as well as the fairly realistic view into that time is certainly a positive point of the novel. The plot, though not so different from other historical fiction placed in this time period, is entertaining and the characters are relatable. There are several printings of the book, but the edition published by the Cosmopolitan Book Corporation is the best by far. The quality of the artwork and imagination of the illustrator perfectly complement the descriptive passages of the novel, even capturing the scenery and the basic likenesses of the characters. It is a well-written book with wonderful characters that will stimulate the imagination and conjure images of the days of yore.--Submitted by W. B. Walden
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