London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919. FIRST EDITION. 8vo. Pp 412. Publisher's clean, bright mid-blue cloth, titled and ruled in dark blue. Minor edge spotting and some spots of sunning to front board, a very good copy indeed. In bright pictorial wrapper, with rubbing to extremities, some creasing and chipping to edges,a couple of closed tears some inoffensive soiling to the rear panel. Internally clean, ink ownership stamp to front flyleaf (there is very faded evidence of the same name stamp on the front panel of the wrapper, scarcely to be seen). Now a very scarce book in original dustwrapper. An attractive copy of the third Richard Hannay adventure (following The Thirty Nine Steps and Greenmantle), this installment taking place among the highlands of Scotland, Switzerland, possibly the first literary face-off on an underground platform, and finally winding up in the delightful environs of the Western Front for its spy hunting climax. Hannay's third show also throws in some beastly submarine skullduggery, the war in the air and a spot of love interest in the trim form of Miss Lamington, soon we surmise to become Mrs. Hannay. For a writer of 'shockers' Buchan is at times crisp and terse and at others rather sentimental, especially in his depictions of fighting men adrift in the ugliness of war. There's also lashings of positively rigid upper lips, and that splendid (now rather unfashionable) bit of Late Colonial Zen; the uncluttered conviction that the very least a chap can do when faced with evil is go down swinging. Buchan's famous adventurer was one of the fore-runners to James Bond; [author Ian Fleming] "was certainly influenced by no-nonsense British fictional characters such as Richard Hannay" [Gilbert, p.616]. Item #38921
Blanchard A46. See also Haining; Crime Fiction p193-4.
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