The time of the tale is the early nineteenth century, the scene rural England, and the hero, one Peter Vibart, who tells his own history most engagingly. Disinherited, as he believes, by his uncle, Peter sets forth on the "Broad Highway" in search of a livelihood and of adventure. The first he finds as blacksmith in a Kentish village, the second rushes upon him in various and startling forms. Love comes to meet him, too, and he tells of it with an amusing, careful candor that recalls Blackmore's hero, John Ridd. In fact, the whole story suggests Lorna Doone, but the resemblance is vague enough to be pleasant.
More charming than the narrative, however, are the detached descriptive passages sketching the travelers met by Peter on the road, and the quaint rural types of his later experience. The author has rare powers of character-photography.
but between whiles managed to do fairly well in the Tripos, to finish a new and original translation of Quintilian, another of Petronius Arbiter and also a literal rendering into the English of the Memoirs of the Sieur de Brantome."
"For none of which you have hitherto found a publisher?" inquired Mr. Grainger.
"Not as yet," said I, "but I have great hopes of my Brantome, as you are probably aware this is the first time he has ever been translated into the English."
"Hum!" said Sir Richard, "ha!--and in the meantime what do you intend to do?"
"On that head I have as yet come to no definite conclusion, sir," I answered.
"I have been wondering," began Mr. Grainger, somewhat diffidently, "if you would care to accept a position in my office. To be sure the remuneration would be small at first and quite insignificant in comparison to the income you have been in the receipt of."
"But it would have been money earned," said I, "which is infinitely preferable to that for whic
One of Farnol’s early books showing that he was a brilliant writer and romantic from the start. The book was written in the first person and introduces some character personalities that I recognized in his later book “Heritage Perilous”. As common in some of his other stories, the main character is deep in love before he finally admits t to himself, in this book it took hundreds of pages before he finally realized the true love which is so oblivious to readers, and the identity of the woman is obvious, it makes the story longer than it needs to be. The book is full of action and interest on every page, so even though it is over 300 pages, it is never a boring read. It ends well as all Farnol’s romances must, the couple wealthy and in love’s bliss.
Young Peter Vibart, an Oxford scholar, and rather arrogant about it, finds himself a pauper at his wealthy guardian uncle's death -- unless he weds an heiress, Lady Sophia Sefton, whom he's never laid eyes on. In his quixotic and overly confident way, he deals with this by refusing to consider even trying to meet the woman, turning down an offer of employment and going on a walking tour.
He meets various interesting fellow travelers -- wonderful characterizations! -- and ultimately apprentices himself to a village blacksmith, while remaining as self-confident as ever.
Some humbleness begins to creep into his attitudes about midway, as he rescues a rather unaccountable woman, Charmian Brown, and the novel starts to turn into a love story. Unfortunately, the author's unhappy tendency toward long, slow, ruminating passages increases then, and the going becomes a bit tedious. By that point, the conclusion seems predictable, too.
Still, a few unexpected hitches occur and it's a fun read overall.
Ignore the poor exerpt chosen and read this book.
This guy was a brilliant, if slightly flowery, author.
If you like adventure, romance, and a bit of history go for it.
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