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Old 09-27-2010, 11:25 AM   #1
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Ballantyne, R. M: Fort Desolation. V1. 27 Sep 2010

R. M. Ballantyne (24 April 1825 – 8 February 1894) was a Scottish juvenile fiction writer.
Born Robert Michael Ballantyne in Edinburgh, he was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. At the age of 16 he went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. He returned to Scotland in 1847, and published his first book the following year, Hudson's Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America. For some time he was employed by Messrs Constable, the publishers, but in 1856 he gave up business for the profession of literature, and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated.

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To some minds solitude is depressing, to others it is congenial. It was the former to our friend John Robinson; yet he had a large share of it in his chequered life. John—more familiarly known as Jack—was as romantic as his name was the reverse. To look at him you would have supposed that he was the most ordinary of common-place men, but if you had known him, as we did, you would have discovered that there was a deep, silent, but ever-flowing river of enthusiasm, energy, fervour—in a word, romance—in his soul, which seldom or never manifested itself in words, and only now and then, on rare occasions, flashed out in a lightning glance, or blazed up in a fiery countenance. For the most part Jack was calm as a mill-pond, deep as the Atlantic, straightforward and grave as an undertaker’s clerk and good-humoured as an unspoilt and healthy child.
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