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The publishers of ' Young Folks ' having asked for a successor to Treasure Island, Stevenson turned to the period of the Wars of the Roses as a setting for a tale of adventure frankly written for youthful readers. The only preparation a boy needs for enjoying "e;The Black Arrow "e; is some slight acquaintance with Shakespeare or Walter Scott; nay, if he have but skimmed the briefest history of the brave old medieval times, and knows what a part in them the long-bow and the cross-bow played, and what a salet is, and what a lance, he will need no further introduction to this tale of the early days of Richard Crookback-a tale "e;retold"e; (like that of the search for buried treasure) "e;exactly in the ancient way."e; Or if the telling differ from that to which he is accustomed, it will be because Mr. Stevenson writes with a pen so much more graphic, poetic, and incisive than the ancient chroniclers. Not content with weaving a plot that shall hold the reader spell-bound, he perfects his style with such care that not a superfluous or an ill-fitting word is to be found from start to finish.
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