Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A giant among storytellers …

… The Adventures of Rafael Sabatini — The Barnes & Noble Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In 1904 Sabatini’s first novel, The Tavern Knight, appeared as a serial in The Sphere Magazine. Shortly thereafter he got married and  boldly quit his day job. Thus, with the audacious confidence of one of his own heroes, he launched himself as a full-time professional writer. Over the next seventeen years he produced a dozen novels,  two biographies (of Cesare Borgia and the inquisitor Torquemada), and many magazine pieces. Some of these last dramatized thrilling moments from history, such as the betrayal of Sir Walter Raleigh or the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat, and were later gathered in three volumes asThe Historical Nights’ Entertainment. Throughout this period Sabatini’s book sales were steady if relatively lackluster. And then in 1921 the now middle-aged writer brought out Scaramouche, and everything changed.

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