Perilous Escapades

Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction


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About the Book

Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements—such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas—in the genre’s 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.

About the Author(s)

Award winner Gary Hoppenstand is a professor in the department of English at Michigan State University. He has published numerous books and more than sixty scholarly articles on topics ranging from popular culture studies to literary studies to media studies. He lives in Holt, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Gary Hoppenstand
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 183
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7055-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3302-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: A Brief Story of Adventure 3
Power and Politics as Adventure: Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses 7
The Swashbuckling Pirate as Rebel Hero: Rafael Sabatini’s Captain Blood: His Odyssey 15
Justified Bloodshed and the Origins of the Vigilante Hero:Robert Montgomery Bird’s Nick of the Woods 30
The Romance of Adventure: Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel 46
Revolution and Revenge: Rafael Sabatini’s Scaramouche 54
Empires in Decline: C.J. Cutcliffe Hyne’s The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis 62
The Ruritanian Romance: Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda 75
Science Fantasy and the Adventure Story: Edwin L. Arnold’s Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation 89
Empire and the Bright Face of Danger: A.E.W. Mason’s The Four Feathers 98
Soldiering for Fortune: Robert E. Howard’s “The Treasures of Tartary” 113
Mystery as Adventure: Elizabeth Peters’ The Last Camel Died at Noon 119
Redemption and Honor: P.C. Wren’s Beau Geste 132
Popular Fiction as Thriller Propaganda: Ian Fleming’s From Russia, with Love 147
Dinosaur Doctors and Jurassic Geniuses: The Changing Image of the Scientist Adventurer in the Lost World Adventure 157
Bibliography 169
Index 173