The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
A Record of Secret Service (Penguin Classics)

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Synopsis

One of the first great spy novels, The Riddle of the Sands is set during the long suspicious years leading up to the First World War. The story builds in excitement as two young men on a sailing holiday discover a German plot to invade England. This edition is complemented by a fine introduction which examines the novel in its political and historical context. - ;`About this coast... In the event of war it seems to me that every inch of it would be important, sand and all.'

Executed in 1922 for his involvement in Irish republicanism, Childers in remembered most vividly for his ground-breaking spy novel, The Riddle of the Sands (1903). In spite of good prospects in the Foreign Office, the sardonic civil servant Carruthers is finding it hard to endure the emptiness and boredom of his life in London. He reluctantly accepts an invitation from a college friend, Davies, the shyly intrepid yachtsman, and joins him on a sailing holiday in the Baltic. The
regeneration of Carruthers begins as he is initiated into the mysteries of seamanship, but the story builds in excitement as Carruthers and Davies discover a German plot to invade England.

Like much contemporary British spy fiction, The Riddle of the Sands reflects the long suspicious years leading up to the First World War and the intricacy of its conception and its lucid detail make it a classic of its genre. This edition is complemented by a fine introduction which examines the novel in its political and historical context. -
 

About Erskine Childers

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ERSKINE CHILDERS (1870–1922) was an expert yachtsman whose sailing experiences were fictionalized in The Riddle of the Sands. An Irish nationalist, he was executed by the authorities of the nascent Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War.ERSKINE C. CHILDERS is the great-grandson of the author. He has worked in advertising and photography.
 
Published July 2, 1998 by Oxford University Press, UK. 301 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Horror, Crime, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Riddle of the Sands

Publishers Weekly

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An insightful introduction by the author's great-grandson distinguishes this reissue of a seminal work of spy fiction first published in 1903. At the dawn of the 20th century, Carruthers, a young Fore

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Riddle of the Sands: A Re...

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