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Snare
     

Snare

4.7 8
by Rafael Sabatini
 

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It is a story in which fact and fiction are delightfully blended and one that is entertaining in high degree from first to last.

afael Sabatini was born in Jesi, Italy to an English mother and Italian father. His parents were opera singers who became teachers.

At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages, living with his grandfather in England, attending

Overview

It is a story in which fact and fiction are delightfully blended and one that is entertaining in high degree from first to last.

afael Sabatini was born in Jesi, Italy to an English mother and Italian father. His parents were opera singers who became teachers.

At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages, living with his grandfather in England, attending school in Portugal and, as a teenager, in Switzerland. By the time he was seventeen, when he returned to England to live permanently, he was the master of five languages. He quickly added a sixth language - English - to his linguistic collection. He consciously chose to write in his adopted language, because, he said, "all the best stories are written in English."

After a brief stint in the business world, Sabatini went to work as a writer. He wrote short stories in the 1890s, and his first novel came out in 1902. It took Sabatini roughly a quarter of a century of hard work before he attained success with Scaramouche in 1921. This brilliant novel of the French Revolution became an international best-seller. It was followed by the equally successful Captain Blood in 1922. All of his earlier books were rushed into reprints, the most popular of which was The Sea Hawk from 1915. Sabatini was a prolific writer; he produced a new book approximately every year. While he perhaps didn't achieve the mammoth success of Scaramouche and Captain Blood, nonetheless Sabatini still maintained a great deal of popularity with the reading public through the decades that followed. The public knew that in picking up a Sabatini book, they could always count upon a good read, and his following was loyal and extensive.

By the 1940s, illness forced the writer to slow his prolific method of composition. However, he did write several additional works even during that time. He died February 13, 1950 in Switzerland. He is buried at Adelboden, Switzerland. On his head stone his wife had written, "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad," the first line of his best-known work, Scaramouche.
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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592249299
Publisher:
Borgo Press
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Pages:
252
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.82(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Affair at Tavora

It is established beyond doubt that Mr. Butler was drunk at the time. This rests upon the evidence of Sergeant Flanagan and the troopers who accompanied him, and it rests upon Mr. Butler's own word, as we shall see. And let me add here and now that however wild and irresponsible a rascal he may have been, yet by his own lights he was a man of honour, incapable of falsehood, even though it were calculated to save his skin. I do not deny that Sir Thomas Picton has described him as a "thieving blackguard." But I am sure that this was merely the downright, rather extravagant manner, of censure peculiar to that distinguished general, and that those who have taken the expression at its purely literal value have been lacking at once in charity and in knowledge of the caustic, uncompromising terms of speech of General Picton whom Lord Wellington, you will remember, called a rough, foulmouthed devil.

In further extenuation it may truthfully be urged that the whole hideous and odious affair was the result of a misapprehension; although I cannot go so far as one of Lieutenant Butler's apologists and accept the view that he was the victim of a deliberate plot on the part of his too-genial host at Regoa. That is a misconception easily explained. This host's name happened to be Souza, and the apologist in question has very rashly leapt at the conclusion that he was a member of that notoriously intriguing family, of which the chief members were the Principal Souza, of the Council of Regency at Lisbon, and the Chevalier Souza, Portuguese minister to the Court of St. James's. Unacquainted with Portugal, our apologist was evidently in ignorance of the factthat the name of Souza is almost as common in that country as the name of Smith in this. He may also have been misled by the fact that Principal Souza did not neglect to make the utmost capital out of the affair, thereby increasing the difficulties with which Lord Wellington was already contending as a result of incompetence and deliberate malice on the part both of the ministry at home and of the administration in Lisbon.

Indeed, but for these factors it is unlikely that the affair could ever have taken place at all. If there had been more energy on the part of Mr. Perceval and the members of the Cabinet, if there had been less bad faith and self-seeking on the part of the Opposition, Lord Wellington's campaign would not have been starved as it was; and if there had been less bad faith and self-seeking of an even more stupid and flagrant kind on the part of the Portuguese Council of Regency, the British Expeditionary Force would not have been left without the stipulated supplies and otherwise hindered at every step.

Lord Wellington might have experienced the mental agony of Sir John Moore under similar circumstances fifteen months earlier. That he did suffer, and was to suffer yet more, his correspondence shows. But his iron will prevented that suffering from disturbing the equanimity of his mind. The Council of Regency, in its concern to court popularity with the aristocracy of Portugal, might balk his measures by its deliberate supineness; echoes might reach him of the voices at St. Stephen's that loudly dubbed his dispositions rash, presumptuous and silly; catch-halfpenny journalists at home and men of the stamp of Lord Grey might exploit their abysmal military ignorance in reckless criticism and censure of his operations; he knew what a passionate storm of anger and denunciation had arisen from the Opposition when he had been raised to the peerage some months earlier, after the glorious victory of Talavera, and how, that victory notwithstanding, it had been proclaimed that his conduct of the campaign was so incompetent as to deserve, not reward, but punishment; and he was aware of the growing unpopularity of the war in England, knew that the Government--ignorant of what he was so laboriously preparing--was chafing at his inactivity of the past few months, so that a member of the Cabinet wrote to him exasperatedly, incredibly and fatuously--"for God's sake do something--anything so that blood be spilt."

A heart less stout might have been broken, a genius less mighty stifled in this evil tangle of stupidity, incompetence and malignity that sprang up and flourished about him can every hand. A man less single-minded must have succumbed to exasperation, thrown up his command and taken ship for home, inviting some of his innumerable critics to take his place at the head of the troops, and give free rein to the military genius that inspired their critical dissertations. Wellington, however, has been rightly termed of iron, and never did he show himself more of iron than in those trying days of 1810.

Meet the Author

Rafael Sabatini was an Italian/English writer of novels of romance and adventure.
He is best known for his worldwide best-sellers: The Sea Hawk (1915), a tale of an Elizabethan Englishman among the pirates of the Barbary Coast. Scaramouche (1921), a tale of the French Revolution in which a fugitive hides out in a commedia dell'arte troupe and later becomes a fencing master. Captain Blood (1922), in which the title character is admiral of a fleet of pirate ships. Bellarion the Fortunate (1926), about a cunning young man who finds himself immersed in the politics of fifteenth-century Italy.

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The Snare 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps fuqing u and cu.ms in u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi. I dont want sx but lm bored. Anyone wanna chat? :))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He clung to the vines above, watching, waiting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Njf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago