A Maker of History

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Author: E. Phillips Oppenheim (Anthony Partridge)
Published: 1905
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,097 / 228 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.6
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 4,271
Added to site: 2006.09.21
mnybks.net#: 14459
Origin: gutenberg.org

A daring tale that "explains" a great historical event. The most daring and the most consistently sustained of his many stories, and is heartily recommended to seekers for exciting reading.

Show Excerpt

e with you. The railway last night for twenty miles back was held up for State purposes. We none of us know why, and it doesn't do to be too curious over here, but they have an idea that you are either a journalist or a spy."

"Civis Britannicus sum!" the boy answered, with a laugh.

"It doesn't quite mean what it used to, sir," the man answered quietly.



Exactly a week later, at five minutes after midnight, Guy Poynton, in evening dress, entered the Café Montmartre, in Paris. He made his way through the heterogeneous little crowd of men and women who were drinking at the bar, past the scarlet-coated orchestra, into the inner room, where the tables were laid for supper. Monsieur Albert, satisfied with the appearance of his new client, led him at once to a small table, submitted the wine card, and summoned a waiter. With some difficulty, as his French was very li


Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
Leah A. Zeldes

In this 1905 romantic suspense novel, a young English tourist accidentally witnesses an odd encounter in Germany. Later, in Paris, he speaks of it in the wrong company. When his sister, who was to meet him, arrives, she finds his luggage at their hotel, but he has disappeared. The French police unhelpful, she naively persists in searching for him, but then she, too, vanishes.

A childhood friend of theirs, in love with her and unable to go himself, asks a friend of his to help. The latter becomes infatuated with her photo, and agrees to go seeking the pair. He finds no clue, but receives warnings on several fronts to stop searching, and finally goes home bewildered. Then the young woman's doppelgänger shows up in his neighborhood under another name.

The story moves along well but there are several annoying issues: Other than the fact that there wouldn't be much story without it, we never find out the specific reason behind that particular masquerade. The lovesick friend of a friend is unbelievable, and especially when, after being very obtuse, he comes close to the whole story without much in the action to account for his sudden intuition. The childhood friend goes rather quickly from feeling belligerent and betrayed to philosophical.

It becomes a little difficult to maintain suspension of disbelief. And my limited knowledge of the international relations of the period make me think one should consider the backstory as alternate history, at best.

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