Stanley John Weyman was born at Ludlow in Shropshire in 1855, the second son of a solicitor. He went to Shrewsbury School, then to Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1877 with a degree in history. With this degree he was not able to make much of a living for himself and prospects were discouraging. He was called to the Bar in 1881 and practiced law for 'eight wretched years' never making more than two hundred pounds in any given year, and frequently angering judges with his nervous incompetence in court.
Novelist and Cornhill Magazine editor James Payn convinced him to undertake fiction. Weyman began publishing in 1883 with his short The Story of a Courtship
for The English Illustrated Magazine. But not until his first novel The House of the Wolf
, set in 16th Century France, was he catapulted to fame. From 1890 onwards he was the lion of a very special and elegant literary form. His best books, including From the Memoirs of a Minister of France
(1893), A Gentleman of France
(1893), Under the Red Robe
(1894) and The Red Cockade
(1895) are all but without parallel in excellence. He died in 1928.
Despite the title and the cover A Little Wizard
is not an 'excursion into outright fantasy,' though it does mention superstition and unreasoning belief in magic. It is set during the English Civil War, and does not seem to favour either side though Oliver Cromwell is presented fairly sympathetically. It was published in 1895.
The text and images were taken from Project Gutenberg. The images were rather poor, and I have fixed them up as best I can. Quotation marks are curled, a couple of typos have been fixed, and a few scene break added.
Version 2, 19 November 2012, removes blank pages between files in iPad/iBook
As always if you find any errors please let me know so I can fix them.
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