The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses is an 1888 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is both an historical adventure novel and a romance novel. It first appeared as a serial in 1883 with the subtitle "A Tale of Tunstall Forest" beginning in Young Folks; A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature, vol. XXII, no. 656 (Saturday, June 30, 1883)and ending in the issue for Saturday, October 20, 1883-Stevenson had finished writing it by the end of summer.It was printed under the pseudonym Captain George North.He alludes to the time gap between the serialization and the publication as one volume in 1888 in his preface "Critic [parodying Dickens's 'Cricket'] on the Hearth": "The tale was written years ago for a particular audience..."The Paston Letters were Stevenson's main literary source for The Black Arrow.
Plot introduction--The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father's murder. Dick's suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him. This struggle sweeps him up into the greater conflict surrounding them all.
Plot summary--The novel is set in the reign of "old King Henry VI" (1422-1461, 1470-1471) and during the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487). The story begins with the Tunstall Moat House alarm bell, rung to summon recruits for its absent lord Sir Daniel Brackley, to join the Battle of Risingham; at which the outlaw "fellowship" known as "the Black Arrow" begins to strike with its "four black arrows" for the "four black hearts" of Brackley and three of his retainers: Nicholas Appleyard, Bennet Hatch, and Sir Oliver Oates, the parson. The rhyme posted in explanation of this attack, makes the protagonist Richard ('Dick') Shelton, ward of Sir Daniel, curious about the death of his father Sir Harry Shelton. Having been dispatched to Kettley, where Sir Daniel was quartered, and sent to Tunstall Moat House by return dispatch, he falls in with a fugitive, Joanna Sedley, disguised as a boy with the alias of John Matcham: an heiress kidnapped by Sir Daniel to obtain guardianship over her and to retain his control over Richard by marrying her to him.As they travel through Tunstall Forest, Joanna tries to persuade Dick to turn against Sir Daniel in sympathy with the Black Arrow outlaws, whose camp they discover near the ruins of Grimstone manor. The next day they are met in the forest by Sir Daniel himself, disguised as a leper and returning to the Moat House after his side was defeated at Risingham. Dick and Joanna then follow Sir Daniel to the Moat House. ...
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 - 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and A Child's Garden of Verses..........
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About the Author
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), a Scottish author of novels, poems, and essays, is best known for the classic books Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson remains popular for his celebrated contributions to the adventure and horror genres.
Date of Birth:November 13, 1850
Date of Death:December 3, 1894
Place of Birth:Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:Vailima, Samoa
Education:Edinburgh University, 1875