Rodney Stone: A Novel

Rodney Stone: A Novel

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by Arthur Conan Doyle, Gabriel Chrisman
     
 

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From the creator of Sherlock Holmes, a coming-of-age combination of detective fiction and thrilling adventure.

First published in 1896, Rodney Stone is a gothic coming-of-age story that takes place in Sussex County and follows a young boy with an interest in mischief, exploration, and boxing.

Rodney Stone and his best friend, Jim

Overview


From the creator of Sherlock Holmes, a coming-of-age combination of detective fiction and thrilling adventure.

First published in 1896, Rodney Stone is a gothic coming-of-age story that takes place in Sussex County and follows a young boy with an interest in mischief, exploration, and boxing.

Rodney Stone and his best friend, Jim Harrison—the relative of a blacksmith and former boxer—have always been drawn to dark and dangerous places. When they wander into Cliffe Royale, an old, deserted mansion that was the scene of a gruesome murder fifteen years earlier, they’re both frightened and strangely excited to cross paths with a ghostly figure.

Before they can identify who the ghost is and what it wants, Rodney’s wealthy uncle, Sir Charles Tregellis, arrives in Brighton and leaves later with Rodney in tow. Rodney soon learns that Tregellis, a typical dandy, is connected to just about everyone in London and has focused his attention on an upcoming boxing match to be witnessed by thirty thousand spectators. If Tregellis’s unnamed challenger wins the fight, it could mean grave trouble for Tregellis and everyone he’s associated with—including Rodney.

Distracted by the upcoming fight, Rodney almost forgets about the chilling discovery he made at Cliffe Royale with Jim—until the past comes back to haunt them all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781632205889
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
03/17/2015
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.60(d)

Meet the Author


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. Though always identifying as a writer, he practiced medicine and volunteered as a medic during the Boer War. Later, he was knighted for this service. He is best known for his Sherlock Holmes series and the novel The Lost World. He died in 1930.

Gabriel Chrisman is a historian and researcher specializing in the late Victorian era.  He has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Washington and is a two-time winner of their Undergraduate Research Award.  He gives presentations on late nineteenth-century dress and culture with his wife, Sarah.  They live in Port Townsend, Washington. 

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 22, 1859
Date of Death:
July 7, 1930
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Crowborough, Sussex, England
Education:
Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

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Rodney Stone 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The_Iceman More than 1 year ago
If you read very, very carefully and remain absolutely attentive to every passing paragraph, you'll realize that "Rodney Stone" is a historical mystery.

But, truth be told, the mystery is so subtle as to be almost non-existent and doesn't really form the majority of the story. More than anything else, "Rodney Stone" is a convincing and extremely entertaining historical fiction set early in England's Regency period. The topic is the brutal world of bare knuckles prize fighting and it's easy to see that Conan Doyle himself was a very enthusiastic fan with all of the detailed knowledge that an avid follower of the sport would have.

Rodney Stone, the son of a British naval man who, truth be told, spent most of his married years in Nelson's navy fighting off the continental menace of Napoleon Bonaparte, was to all intents and purposes raised by his mother. His uncle, Sir Charles Tregellis, is a wealthy London swell - a sophisticated gentleman, to be sure, but also a high-rolling gambler and a dandy with a full set of outrageously pretentious affectations who regularly vies with socialite Beau Brummel for the attentions of the fashion-oriented set with whom he associates. Tregellis "adopts" young Rodney taking him under his tutelage and attempts to turn him into a well-dress, well-mannered proper London gentleman. But Rodney is made of more earnest steadfast stuff and is much more interested in retaining his lifelong friendship with Boy Jim, the son of John Harrison, a former bare knuckles champion of England now working as a lowly blacksmith. Tregellis does his best to convince Rodney that Boy Jim is beneath his station and is not the sort of person that a young chap like Stone should associate with.

Using convincing story-telling, wonderful historical background about the Bonaparte wars, clear class distinctions, entertaining cameo appearances by dignitaries such as Horatio Nelson, Lady Emma Hamilton, Sheridan Fox, Beau Brummell and even the shallow Prince Regent (George IV), Conan Doyle has created a very solid period piece that describes Regency England and, in particular, the shadowy and, even then, illegal world of prize fighting with bare knuckles.

Oh yeah ... the mystery! Well, it's there and it gets solved and makes for a great way to close out the book but the history is the thing. As a long-time fan of Conan Doyle's Victorian style of writing as it was used in his Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger stories, I was especially pleased to have found and enjoyed this rather lesser known work.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss