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Stories are one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements. Whether written down or spoken they have an ability to capture our imagination and thoughts, and take us on incredible journeys in the space of a phrase and the turn of a page.Within a few words of text or speech, new worlds and characters form, propelling a narrative to a conclusion with intricate ease. Finely crafted, perfectly formed these Miniature Masterpieces, at first thought, seem remarkably easy to conjure up. But ask any writer and they will tell you that distilling the essence of narrative and characters into a short story is one of the hardest acts of their literary craft. Many attempt, but few achieve.Show more
Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond, DSO, MC is a first world war veteran finding it difficult to adjust to life as a civilian in London. He is a trained soldier, a strong, brutal fighter who has honed his skills of stalking and the martial arts. Now that the war is over he is bored. He posts an advertisement in the newspaper, seeking for adventure... and immediately finds himself drawn into a web of intrigue involving an international gang of criminals whose aim is the destruction of Great Britain. The leader of the criminals is the evil genius, Carl Peterson, who is to be Drummond's opponent and sworn enemy through a series of adventures. The Bulldog Drummond books are a series written by H. C. McNeile and published under his pen name "Sapper". This is the first of the series.Show more
There seems to be an inexhaustible demand for action heroes. From the earliest fictions to the current films, television series, novels and graphic novels, our appetite for the hero (and it does tend to be hero rather than heroine, Lara Croft notwithstanding) has maintained an astonishing vigour. After the previously unimaginable destruction of the First World War, it would have been understandable if the public had turned away from violence and decided to allow their imaginations to exercise in calmer fields of interest, or at least with heroes who would be less physical in their determination to uphold what is right. This was not the case. In both the United States and Britain, the glut of hard-talking, fast-shooting, morally certain sluggers poured out into the eager hands of a public who - if nothing else - clearly liked to know which side was the good one, and to see it win comprehensively. In inter-War Britain the man who found the perfect action hero for his time was Herman Cyril McNeile, who wrote under the pseudonym 'Sapper' and created one of the genre's most iconic characters: Bulldog Drummond. McNeile was born in Cornwall to a Naval man (at the time the governor of a Naval prison), and went from school to the military academy in Woolwich, London. From there he joined the Royal Engineers, whose underground tunnellers were known as 'sappers' (hence his later nickname). He was with them throughout the War and was awarded the Military Cross in the process; but he seems to have been writing before the outbreak of the War. It is not easy to be certain, since serving officers could not use their real names in articles or stories, which was why he needed a pseudonym in the first place. By the end of the War he was already a successful and popular author and he resigned from the Army to write full-time, publishing the first of the Bulldog Drummond books in 1920. They continued to appear until his death, upon which Gerard Fairlie (McNeile's friend and one of the inspirations for Bulldog Drummond himself) continued the series into the '50s. Although many of McNeile's works were popular, it was his Bulldog Drummond stories that seemed to capture the public imagination most forcibly (and most often - there were scores of radio and film adaptations as well as books). Drummond served as a perfect bridge between several worlds. McNeile recognised that the character was a new version of older sleuthing types such as Sherlock Holmes and Raffles, and thus linked pre-War Britain (or more particularly England) with the contemporary realities of the 1920s. What he could not have known was that his character would himself prove a model on which future writers would base their heroes. The creators of The Saint and James Bond readily acknowledged their debt to Sapper, making him a development in the story of detective and adventure stories from the late 19th through to the 21st centuries. The obverse of this popularity was that some writers became so infuriated with the all-pervasive influence of Drummond-like characters that they either spoofed them or went out of their way to ensure that none of their protagonists' qualities were in any way like them. This is understandable. The idea of Bulldog Drummond has become so familiar, entrenched almost, that it is difficult sometimes to discern the strength and originality of the character; and the less appealing elements can be magnified beyond their true stature precisely because the caricature is so much more immediate. What was really there was a figure who embodied a particular kind of Englishness. Bulldog Drummond was independently wealthy and thus free of the day-to-day concerns of earning a living. He had 'done his bit' in the War - no shirking of national or personal responsibility - and done it with skill and daring. He had no doubt about what was right and should therefore be protected, and he had no qualms about doing so with his fists or a gun. But what he also possessed was a particular kind of ironic solidity: a strength without vanity, realistic yet self-mocking, and allied to a sense of delight and absurdity. Life's a game, and it had better be a good one; let's have a martini at the club, old fruit, before we tackle the international master-criminal. McNeile called those who possessed these qualities 'The Breed'. All this is admirable, feeds the Englishman's sense of himself, and adds to the gaiety of nations (as well as making many readers wish they were possessed of similar sang froid). But lurking within this was another set of values which were largely universal in the readership of the time but which frankly rankle now. Drummond is privileged, monied and seemingly unaware of the inequity of this. He has no doubts, and is never presented with anything where the right course to adopt is questionable. He assumes that the values of the Empire are all good, and that pretty much all foreigners are not to be trusted, and can be dismissed with derogatory adjectival promptness. Concerns about these shortcomings are valid, but they are not the core reason for the continuing appeal of the books and should not obscure what that appeal is. They are failings but they also reflect the attitudes of the time; and, most significantly of all, they are no more than minor interjections in the text rather than its essence. Its essence is a pounding good adventure story; a thriller where the plot races with gusto, where the villain is able to adopt disguises that can fool the closest inspection, where bizarre and terrible characters can plot outlandish heists, where we can trust the hero and wonder how he will escape, enjoying his unruffled wit as he faces what must surely be a gruesome death. There is a rich canon of these adventure stories, one that continues to grow. Bulldog Drummond sits proudly at the head of it, charming, brave and undaunted.Show more
Julian Rhind-Tutt reads Sapper's thrilling adventures of private detective Captain Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond, as heard on BBC Radio. In these six episodes, the demobbed officer offers his services to any client offering adventure. This leads him into danger and dashing escapades, as he finds himself grappling a gorilla; trying to save the realm from dreadful peril; protecting a Duchess's pearls and battling to foil the evil Peterson, who is planning to overthrow the Government...Show more
When Professor Goodman discovers a method of creating flawless diamonds at almost no cost, it is much more than a scientific curiosity - especially to the members of the Metropolitan Diamond Syndicate, who determine to stop this threat to their healthy profits. But their plans backfire when the man they recruit to keep the Professor's discovery a secret turns out to be the world's greatest villain. Only one man can stop the ensuing intrigue, kidnappings, plotting and murder: Bulldog Drummond. Yet even he is pushed to the limit when he faces his nemesis in the waters off the south coast. Gripping and thrilling, this is the third of Bulldog Drummond's contests with the master-criminal Carl Peterson. But is it the last?Show more
Bulldog's back! This time, there is a plot to foment a revolution in England, a plot that has left the Police baffled and the nation at the mercy of a master criminal. A disguised clergyman, a beautiful sidekick, an arcane poison, car chases and abductions all fail to see off Hugh Drummond and his gang of ex-Army friends. But when the plotters capture Drummond's wife, the game is up... isn't it? Undaunted, charming, brave and resourceful, Bulldog Drummond is an archetypal English adventure hero, and the forerunner of The Saint and James Bond.Show more
This fine collection of intelligent, unabridged short stories celebrating intriguing, interesting and sometimes inspirational men is an audio treat for young and old, male or female. A carefully compiled anthology featuring timeless tales from classic authors including Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Anton Chekhov, read by a cast of acclaimed and respected authors, this compilation will be enjoyed by the whole family... for generations to come! STORY Listings: 1. Mr. Cosway and the Landlady - Wilkie Collins read by Rupert Degas 2. A School Story - M. R. James read by Martin Jarvis 3. The Poor Relation's Story - Charles Dickens read by Martin Jarvis 4. White Stockings - Edgar Wallace read by Jonathan Firth 5. The Music on the Hill - Saki read by Martin Jarvis 6. A Point of Detail - Sapper read by Jonathan Firth 7. On Cademuir Hill - John Buchan read by Iain Cuthbertson 8. Pat Hobby's Secret - F. Scott Fitzgerald read by Kerry Shale 9. My Cat Jeoffrey - Christopher Smart read by Richard Griffiths and Liza Goddard 10. The Fable of the Man with the Golden Brain - Alphonse Daudet read by Stephen Fry 11. Luck - Mark Twain read by Jonathan Firth 12.The Clock that Went Backward - Edward Page Mitchell read by Nicky Henson 13. The Dancing Partner - Jerome K Jerome read by Jonathan Firth 14. A Day in the Country - Anton Chekhov read by Martin Jarvis.Show more
Demobilised officer, finding peace incredibly tedious, would welcome diversion. Legitimate if possible; excitement essential. When Captain Hugh Drummond, DSO, MC placed that advertisement, he was looking for adventure. What he finds is an international plot headed by the greatest criminal mastermind in the world. For the sake of the beautiful Phyllis, he faces murderous schemers, acid baths and even wild animals in his attempts to save her father - and his own life. In this, his first appearance, Bulldog Drummond is charming, undaunted and endlessly resourceful: the template of the modern action hero.Show more
Wonderful readings of stories centred around the theme of love, including works by classic writers like Rudyard Kipling and John Galsworthy. Spindleberries by John Galsworthy Georgie Porgie by Rudyard Kipling For Better or Worse by W. W. Jacobs The Patch on the Quilt by Sapper The Son's Veto by Thomas HardyShow more
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