|11-30-2008, 12:00 PM||#1|
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Wren, Percival Christopher: Beau Geste. V1. 30 Nov 2008
Percival Christopher Wren (1875–1941) was a British writer, mostly of adventure fiction. He is remembered best for Beau Geste, a much-filmed book of 1924 involving the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, and its sequels, Beau Sabreur and Beau Ideal.
Born in Devonshire England in 1885, Percival Christopher Wren was a collateral descendant of the famous British 17th century architect Sir Christopher Wren. His literary influences included Frederick Marryat, R. M. Ballantyne, G. A. Henty, and H. Rider Haggard. After graduated with an MA from Oxford, Percival travelled the world for five years before joining the British Calvary. From there, he went on to join the French Foreign Legion, worked in India for the Bombay government for 10 years. World events saw him returning to active service during WWI with the India Army in East Africa, after which he settled and married in London in 1917. He lived out the remainder of his life in England concentrating on his literary career.
This work is a romantic adventure of the French Foreign Legion, and is set in the searing heat of the Sahara desert. It evokes the ethos and pride of the Legion, and the often wild lives and loyalties of the legionnaires.
The central character is Michael "Beau" Geste, the eldest of the three Geste brothers of Brandon Abbas, who have been brought up by their aunt. When a precious jewel known as the "Blue Water", the focus of the family fortunes, goes missing, suspicion falls on the brothers, and Beau leaves Britain to join the French Foreign Legion followed by his brothers, Digby and John. There they encounter the sadistic Sergeant Lejaune, and the unit is besieged at Fort Zinderneuf by Tuareg rebels. Beau's heroism is proved, but only John survives to return home, where he is welcomed by their aunt and the reason for the jewel theft is revealed to have been a matter of honor.
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