George Manville Fenn lived from 1831 to 1909, and was a prolific writer of boys’ adventure stories. He also wrote serialised books for the various boys’ periodicals.
The feature that is common to most of his books is the method of sustained suspense that he employed. He wrote, in explaining this, that he relied upon the human desire to unravel a mystery, to retain his readers’ attention. He was able to retain their interest right up to the very last page, by building up mysterious and dire situations one upon the other. You are constantly left asking, “How does he get out of this one?” It is just this aspect that makes transcribing his books to e-texts such fun.
George Manville Fenn, English writer of juvenile stories, was born in London January 3, 1831. He was educated at private schools, then attended Battersea Training College for Teachers from 1851 to 1854. He was Master of a small school in Lincolnshire for a time, then became a printer and published a small magazine of poetry, “Modern Metre,” in 1862. Two years later he was part owner of the Hertfordshire and Essex Observer, another unsuccessful venture. He then began writing for various periodicals, such as Chamber’s Journal and All the Year Round, and was editor of Cassell’s Magazine in 1870, and of Once a Week from 1873 to 1879. He soon began to pour out a flood of books for boys, as well as a few novels, many of which were reprinted in America, and before his death he had published between 175 and 200. He was married in 1855 to Susanna Leake, and by her had two sons and six daughters. He died August 26, 1909.
This is a fairly long book for this author.
It starts with two young men working as clerks in the offices of a tyrannical auctioneer. Fed up with his unpleasant behaviour they give up their jobs and determine to set out for British Columbia.
To get there they must take passage in a ship going round the Horn, and up to San Francisco.
Then they have to make their way further up the coast to their destination. On the way they encounter various characters, some good and honourable, and others very much the reverse. Finally they arrive and set to work seeking for gold.
Of course there are more adventures and tense situations, as you would expect from this author. Fenn is very good at describing places, even ones to which he has never been.
I love George Manville Fenn. If you like adventures, you can't go far wrong with him! This comes from Athelstane via PG. Lots and lots more where this comes from.
Have fun! (4 illustrations)
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