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The French Revolution is in full swing and the aristocracy are being sent to the guillotine in their hundreds. In the shadows, English dandy Sir Peter Blakeney – working under his alter ego, the Scarlet Pimpernel – is breaking the condemned out of prison and leaving his distinctive calling card, a picture of a red flower, to torment the French authorities. A master of disguise, infamous escape artist and flamboyant swordsman, his identity is such a closely guarded secret that even his wife is in the dark. But, with enemy agents on close his tail, his failure to trust her might be his undoing.
The very first hero with a secret identity, the Scarlet Pimpernel is a worthy precursor to Zorro and Batman. His daring antics (and undeniable flair) are just as delightful today as they were a century ago.
Designed to appeal to the book lover, the Macmillan Collector’s Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector’s Library are books to love and treasure.
Mr Edgar Finchley, unmarried clerk, aged 45, is told to take a holiday for the first time in his life. He decides to go to the seaside. But Fate has other plans in store... From his abduction by a cheerful crook, to his smuggling escapade off the south coast, the timid but plucky Mr Finchley is plunged into a series of the most astonishing and extraordinary adventures. His rural adventure takes him gradually westward through the English countryside and back, via a smuggling yacht, to London. This gentle comedy trilogy was a runaway bestseller on first publication in the 1930s and retains a timeless appeal today. It has been dramatized twice for BBC Radio, with the 1990 series regularly repeated. What people are saying about the Mr Finchley series: 'Wonderful character from a kinder slower England between the wars.' 'An overlooked gem. An innocent picaresque novel set in an arcadian version of mid 20th century England. The literary equivalent of naive painting, it narrates the adventures of a respectable upper middle-aged man who takes retirement.' 'An antidote to the rush of the early 21st century.' 'A thoroughly enjoyable stroll through a vanished England with some lovable characters. Don't expect modern, fashionable agonisings, here there is good, evil, and understanding. A lovely reminiscent wallow of a read.' 'Gentle well told simple story, full of pleasant surprises, and a mild mannered believable hero. Loved it to bits.' 'So gentle, it hurts.' 'There is a freshness about the writing which is charming and that disarms criticism. Don't expect any great profundities, a gripping plot or inter-character tensions - these books are of the world of Billy Bunter and William Brown - but do expect a very well-written and enjoyable romp through early twentieth-century England in the company of an engaging protagonist.' 'A delightful story of a man who finds himself jolted out of his comfort zone and taken on a journey beyond his wildest imaginings.' 'Another lovely book detailing the adventures of Mr Finchley in altogether far too short a series. Full of humour and a book I was sorry to finish as I wanted it to go on and on.' 'Highly recommended for anyone seeking an entertaining amusing read.' 'A delight to be transported to an England I never knew despite growing up in the 1950s and to experience the countryside through the sharp eyes of the author who obviously had a great love of all things rural.' Editorial reviews: 'Quite delightful, with an atmosphere of quiet contentment and humour that cannot fail to charm ... The longer we travel with Mr Finchley, the better we come to love him. He makes us share his bread and cheese, and beer and pipe. His delight at the beauties of the countryside and his mild astonishment at the strange ways of men are infectious.' Daily Telegraph 'His gift of story-telling is obviously innate. Rarely does one come on so satisfying an amalgam of plot, characterisation and good writing.' Punch 'A paean to the beauties of the English countryside and the lovable oddities of the English character... [Mr Finchley] runs into one astonishing situation after another, sticking gamely to his resolve that he must take things as they come and accept them.' New York Times 'What counts for most in the story, as it did for Mr Finchley, is his mounting pleasure in vagabondage and the English scene.' The Times 'There is such a gentle humour in the book ... Mr Finchley is the ideal Englishman.' Daily Sketch
Under the guise of doing Hajj, young lovers Zamurrud and Hussain elope. En route to Mecca, Zamurrud is kidnapped by The Assassins - an extreme sect whose members are prepared to leap to death at a sign from their masters, their reward paradise. Zamurrud is coerced into returning to visit Hussain in what he believes is a dream. She convinces him that she is in paradise, and that if he wants to see her again he must join the Assassins and perform acts of terror against his own beliefs.
War correspondent Colin Frere is on assignment in Malia, a Southeast Asian state consumed by civil conflict and revolution. He is abducted by the Communist guerrillas - actually by prearrangement. His mission is to understand the rebels and their charismatic leader - not least because his own elder brother once fought alongside them. But he soon finds that idealism trumps journalistic detachment and he becomes an active soldier in the revolutionary cause. His journey and that of his adopted country involves heroism, romance, comradeship - and ultimately betrayal. Heroes in the Evening Mist was the last novel by the prolific author William Ash, who died in 2014, and it has hitherto been unpublished. Ash was born in Texas but fought as a Spitfire pilot in the Second World War before spending three years in a German prisoner-of-war camp. His repeated attempts to escape made him one of the models for the character played by Steve McQueen in the film The Great Escape and were chronicled in his best-selling memoir Under the Wire. He was a lifelong socialist and his final work shows a rare sympathetic engagement not only with the cause of post-colonial liberation but also with the problems faced by revolutionary governments once they have won power
Meet Grady Service: former Marine, now conservation officer, and the greatest fear of any errant hunter. In Ice Hunter-the first in the Woods Cop Mystery series set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and celebrated for its intricate plots and unforgettable characters-Service must call upon his every reserve to track, stalk, and capture the ice hunter.
'Heart-pounding action' THE TIMES. FRANCE: 1356. Ten years ago, the greatest army in Christendom was slaughtered at Crecy. Archer Thomas Blackstone stood his ground and left that squalid field a knight. He has since carved out a small fiefdom in northern France, but the wounds of war still bleed and a traitor has given the King of France the means to destroy the English knight and his family. As the traitor's net tightens, so the French King's army draws in. Blackstone will stand and fight. He will defy his friends, his family and his king. He may yet defy death, but he can't defy his destiny: MASTER OF WAR.
Britannia, 45 AD: Vespasian's brother is captured by druids. The druids want to offer a potent sacrifice to their gods - not just one Roman Legate, but two. They know that Vespasian will come after his brother and they plan to sacrifice the siblings on Midsummer's Day. Vespasian must rescue his brother whilst completing the conquest of the south-west of the haunted isle, before he is drawn back to Rome and the heart of Imperial politics. Claudius' three freedmen remain at the focus of power. As Messalina's time as Empress comes to a bloody end, the three freedmen each back a different mistress. Who will be victorious? And at what price for Vespasian? THE SIXTH INSTALMENT IN THE VESPASIAN SERIES
The mutiny on HMS Bounty, in the South Pacific on 28 April 1789, is one of history's truly great stories - a tale of human drama, intrigue and adventure of the highest order - and in the hands of Peter FitzSimons it comes to life as never before. Commissioned by the Royal Navy to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti and take them to the West Indies, the Bounty's crew found themselves in a tropical paradise. Five months later, they did not want to leave. Under the leadership of Fletcher Christian most of the crew mutinied soon after sailing from Tahiti, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen adrift in a small open boat. In one of history's great feats of seamanship, Bligh navigated this tiny vessel for 3618 nautical miles to Timor. Fletcher Christian and the mutineers sailed back to Tahiti, where most remained and were later tried for mutiny. But Christian, along with eight fellow mutineers and some Tahitian men and women, sailed off into the unknown, eventually discovering the isolated Pitcairn Island - at the time not even marked on British maps - and settling there.This astonishing story is historical adventure at its very best, encompassing the mutiny, Bligh's monumental achievement in navigating to safety, and Fletcher Christian and the mutineers' own epic journey from the sensual paradise of Tahiti to the outpost of Pitcairn Island. The mutineers' descendants live on Pitcairn to this day, amid swirling stories and rumours of past sexual transgressions and present-day repercussions. Mutiny on the Bounty is a sprawling, dramatic tale of intrigue, bravery and sheer boldness, told with the accuracy of historical detail and total command of story that are Peter FitzSimons' trademarks.
We go back in time twenty-five years to meet Service as a young conservation officer. Still fresh from Vietnam, but on home turf, Service has been tapped for an unusual assignment that threatens to be his last. Full of outrageous characters, Running Dark is the fourth book in the Woods Cop Mystery series and is a wild and is a riveting ride. For more on Joseph Heywood and the Woods Cop Mysteries, visit the author's website.
Discover the blistering first novella from the from the Booker-shortlisted author of Eileen and My Year of Rest and Relaxation. They said I've done something wrong?... And they've just left me down here to starve. Haven't had a drop in days more so... Salem, Massachusetts, 1851: McGlue is in the hold, still too drunk to be sure of his name or situation or orientation - he may have killed a man. That man may have been his best friend. Now, McGlue wants one thing and one thing only: a drink. Because for McGlue, insufferable, terrifying memories accompany sobriety. Asail on the high seas of literary tradition, Ottessa Moshfegh gives us an unforgettable blackguard on a knife-sharp voyage through the fogs of recollection.
Dreadfully injured in the Arnhem landings, paratrooper Theo Trickey was never expected to survive. Medical Officer Captain Daniel Garland pulled Trickey's comatose body from a pile of copses, keeping him alive as they were shipped to a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany.
As Garland discovers, Trickey has had a remarkable war. Boy soldier, commando, paratrooper, intelligence officer – fighting from northern France to the African desert. But that's not all. What was Trickey's connection with Germany's greatest general, the recently deceased Erwin Rommel? Why have the Desert Fox's loyalest officers tracked him down and just what is it that they want Garland to do?
Freefall is the second part of Radcliffe's Airborne trilogy which tells the extraordinary story of a young soldier, a new regiment and how, together, they changed the course of a war.
'A must-read: deft, vivid, painfully well-observed' Graham Hurley, author of Finisterre.
From New York Times bestselling author Margaret George, Emperor Nero: The Splendour Before The Dark is the stunning conclusion to Emperor Nero's story that began in The Confessions of Young Nero. With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman Empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendour. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is absolute. But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumours of Nero's complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace - and the politicians . . . For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome's - and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous. Throughout the empire, false friends and spies conspire against him, not understanding what drives him to undertake the impossible. Nero will either survive and be the first in his family to escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court, or be ensnared and remembered as the last radiance of the greatest dynasty the world had ever known.
1914, and an English archaeologist called Somerville is fulfilling a lifelong dream: to direct an excavation in the desert of Mesopotamia. Yet forces beyond his control threaten his work. The Great War is looming, and various interest groups are vying for control over the land and its manyprizes. And Somerville, whose intention is purely to discover and preserve the land's ancient treasures finds his idealism sorely tested. Naked ambition, treachery and greed are at play, in a thrilling adventure from the master of the historical novel.
'Lindsey Davis has seen off all her competitors to become the unassailable market leader in the 'crime in Ancient Rome' genre . . . Davis's squalid, vibrant Rome is as pleasurable as ever' - Guardian 'For fans of crime fiction set in the ancient world, this one is not to be missed' - Booklist Private investigator Flavia Albia is always drawn to an intriguing puzzle - even if it is put to her by her new husband's hostile ex-wife. On the Quirinal Hill, a young girl named Clodia has died, apparently poisoned with a love potion. Only one person could have supplied such a thing: a local witch who goes by the name of Pandora, whose trade in herbal beauty products is hiding something far more sinister. The supposedly sweet air of the Quirinal is masking the stench of loose morality, casual betrayal and even gangland conflict and, when a friend of her own is murdered, Albia determines to expose as much of this local sickness as she can - beginning with the truth about Clodia's death. **************** Praise for Lindsey Davis and the Flavia Albia series 'Davis's prose is a lively joy, and Flavia's Rome is sinister and gloriously real' The Times on Sunday 'Davis's books crackle with wit and knowledge . . . She has the happy knack of making the reader feel entirely immersed in Rome'
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