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About the Author
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. Sent off to boarding school, he cut his teeth as a story-teller amusing his schoolmates with tales and writing letters home to his mother. He practiced medicine and, in 1900, volunteered as a medic in Africa during the Boer War he was later knighted for his service. Doyle lost a son, two brothers in law, and two nephews to the Great War. He is remembered for the Sherlock Holmes stories and his novel The Lost World.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a keen sportsman -and inded once displayed his cricketing prowess by taking the wicket of the era's greatest batsman W G Grace .Boxing was an especial interest and he wrote several fine short stories about the sport ;these were collected in the volume Tales of the ring (any Complete Short Stories or Collected Short Stories by Doyle will include them and they repay reading by devotees of the noble art in particular)
He also regarded himself as -in the literary sense -first and foremost an historical novelist and in Rodney Stone he sought to combine two of his passions -a novel about boxing in the first half of the nineteenth century .Stone is the first person narrator ,writing in 1851 ,and looking back on his boyhood in the first decade of the century .His father is a naval officer away fighting the French and he lives with his mother in a small Sussex village where his best frioend is Boy Jim ,the son of the local blacksmith "Champion"Harrison,a former highly regarded bare knuckle bruiser .Boy Jim aspires to follow his father into the ring but his mother is vehemently opposed to the whole idea and has frequently stopped her husband from returning to the sport .
The book opens with a leisurely account of the boyhoods but things change when Rodney is "taken up" by his well to do and well connected uncle ,the dandy and man about town Sir Charles Tregellis .He accompanies tregellis to London where he moves in copurt circles and meets The Prince Regent ,Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton and other key figures .Tregellis is more than he seems -a fop and snappy dresser with a languid exterior he is also a shrewd politican ,a palin dealing man and a member of "the fancy " ,the sporting crowd ,with a particular eye for a good pugilist .Read more ›
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Never having read this book before, I was unsure of what to expect. I found that this is quite a captivating book that leave the reader not wanting to put it down. Would recommend for someone who has a bit of time to kill...you won't want to put this down!
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