SANS MERCI; or, Kestrels and Falcons. In Three Volumes.
by Lawrence, George Alfred
London: Tinsley Brothers, 1866. [Lawrence, George Alfred]. SANS MERCI [without mercy] or, Kestrels and Falcons. In Three Volumes. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1866. First Edition. A Near Fine copy in original publisher's blue ripple-grain cloth, gilt, showing only the most minor abrasion to the boards; we doubt many first editions of this title still exist much less an example in this condition. OCLC notes only four copies worldwide in institutional collections. George Alfred Lawrence (1827-1876) was a sensation novelist of a different ilk than Wilkie Collins or M. E. Braddon. His protagonists were often, if not always, men who were equally skilled at fighting, riding, hunting, killing, truth-seeking, and wooing. Not one to shirk a challenge himself, Lawrence sailed to America to fight for the Confederate Army (he was captured and shipped back to England). Lawrence is little read today but he created the original inspiration for the "Beau Geste" character, that self-sacrificing, dashing, honorable crusader who often fought for lost causes usually on behalf of some wronged maiden. In short, Lawrence may be credited with creating today's iconic literary "action hero." This novel takes place in the hazardous English countryside; the title of this book (which suggests birds of prey flying mercilessly at each other talons at the ready) is a metaphor for the evil lawyers and other such villains who are trying to destroy our heroic protagonist's honor and livelihood and romantic prospects with fair maiden. Horse racing, gambling, and several violent fighting scenes also keep things lively. The publisher, Tinsley, is particularly known for the low survival rate of their three-decker first editions.. First Edition. Decorative Cloth. Fine. (Inventory #: 002356)
19th and early 20th Century English Literary First Editions and Manuscripts, Thomas Hardy, Cinema, Children's Books & Original Art.
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