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Old 11-09-2010, 06:38 AM   #1
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Barr, Robert: The Sword Maker. V1. 9 Nov 2010

Robert Barr (September 16, 1849 – October 21, 1912) was a British-Canadian short story writer and novelist, born at Glasgow, Scotland. Robert Barr, a teacher, journalist, editor and novelist, born in Glasgow, Scotland and educated in Canada. In 1876 he became a member of the staff of the Detroit Free Press, in which his contributions appeared under the signature "Luke Sharp." In 1881 he removed to London, to establish the weekly English edition of the Free Press, and in 1892 he joined Jerome K Jerome in founding the Idler magazine, from whose co-editorship he retired in 1895. He was a prolific author, producing many popular novels of the day.

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The Sword Maker is a historical romance, set in the Rhenish Palatinates. The Emperor is old, fat, lax and indolent, caring only for his flagon of wine, and his nobles have waxed in power, levying taxes so heavy commerce has come to a standstill in Frankfort. An attempt by merchants to run the blockade on the river and reach Cologne has been destroyed, with the Robber Barons sinking the ships and taking the goods. An appeal to the seven Electors to depose the Emperor and install his son in his stead has proven futile, as the Electors benefit from things as they are, and the Prince has been imprisoned by an Archbishop to forestall further efforts. The guild of ironworkers makes fine swords, and suffers like the rest from the standstill in commerce. Revolution is brewing . . .
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