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Old 08-15-2012, 05:47 AM   #1
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Weyman, Stanley J.: The Long Night, v1, 15 Jul 2012

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 story 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.

The Long Night is set in the independent city-state of Geneva in 1602, and is a little unusual in that there are only two 'goodies' against several 'baddies' in different groups, and that the narrative is told in the third person. One of the strands in the complex story is that the heroine is in danger of being burned as a witch, and another is the Escalade, an attack on Geneva by the Kingdom of Savoy which is foiled by the hero and the heroine's mother who dropped a cauldron of hot soup on the invaders.

The Fête de L'Escalade is held in Geneva every year to commemorate the event.

As always please let me know if you find any errors so that I can correct them.
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