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Old 07-08-2011, 06:11 AM   #1
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Weyman, Stanley J.: A Gentleman of France v1 8 July 2011

Stanley John Weyman was born at Ludlow in Shropshire in 1855, the second son of a county 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 £200 in any given year, and frequently angered 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 in 1890. From 1890 onward, 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.

This Dumas-esque swashbuckler was one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s favorite novels. Set in medieval France of the late 1580s, it regards the fateful events that culminated in Henry of Navarre ascending the throne, during the War of the Three Henries. The titular “gentleman” is a Huguenot Breton, “one of Conde’s veterans, whose poverty and shabby appearance are flouted by the courtiers; but in an important and delicate commission entrusted to him he acquits himself so valiantly, that he wins the love of his beautiful charge, a noble kinswoman of Turenne. Court life and warlike adventure are the staple of the book, which is an excellent one of its kind”

As always please let me know of any typos or other mistakes so I can fix them.
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