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A Young Hero by George Manville Fenn

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

A Young Hero, by G Manville Fenn.


This is a prettily produced little book. It's not very long and doesn't have anything like the usual Manville Fenn subtle plot.

The plot itself consists of an opening scene in which Doctor Martin, a most learned gentleman, is teaching Phil, the hero, his Latin. Phil is perhaps eight or none years of age, not older then that, Dr Martin is French, while Phil is English.

It is a time in Canada in which war is about to break out between the English, who have colonised most of North America, and the French, who have occupied most of Canada. All of a sudden Phil's father, an officer with the English forces, appears, and requests that Dr Martin should abandon his house, and all his books and papers, and take the boy Phil to him in the English lines. I should say this is a pretty ridiculous idea, but the poor old Doctor did just as he was told, thereby suffering many days of privation, and insult from the farmers whose land they passed through. Eventually they arrive near the English lines, where they are arrested as possible spies.

After a few weeks Phil's father appears, but at that point there is a battle, in which General Wolfe dies, being brought draughts of water in his dying hour by the young hero, Phil.

To be frank I am surprised that George Manville Fenn wrote this book, as it could only serve to water down his reputation. But it may have been an early work, or possibly one aimed at a different market than his usual teenager one. There are other similarly produced books by him, so it may have been a fancy idea by the publisher, to produce some sort of a pseudo-historical series.




Dr Martin wore a close-fitting black silk cap.


Well, the answer to the old riddle, "Why does a miller wear a white hat?" is, "To keep his head warm."

That answer would do for a reply to the question why this grey, anxious-looking Dr Martin wore a close-fitting black silk cap as he sat poring over an old book opposite Phil Carleton, who also bent over a book; but he was not reading, for he had a pencil in his fingers and a sheet of paper covering one page, upon which sheet he was making notes.

Not a single one, for Phil was not far enough advanced for such work as that. He was drawing, after a fashion, and very busily, when the old Doctor, his tutor, suddenly looked up.

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