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A thrilling adventure story of smuggling, cursed treasure, code-cracking, injustice, revenge and friendship
John Meade Falkner was born in Wiltshire in 1858. He worked as a teacher at Derby school, and climbed through the ranks of a large Newcastle arms manufacturer to become its director in 1901, after working for the company founder as his family's tutor for many years. After retiring in 1926, Falkner became honorary librarian to the dean and chapter of Durham Cathedral. He wrote three novels including Moonfleet (1898), as well as publishing a volume of poetry (Poems, 1933) and a pocket history of Oxfordshire. J. Meade Falkner died on July 22, 1932.
"John Meade Falkner's tale of smuggling, a cursed diamond, revenge, ghosts, a secret code, wrongful imprisonment and great sacrifice. It calls for comparison with The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World and Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan of the Apes. A novel of claustrophobic darkness, storm-wracked seas and wild romantic landscapes, it sweeps the reader irresistibly along, like the deadly undertow at Moonfleet Beach" * Washington Post * "A ripping yarn...a wonderful story of smuggling and skulduggery" * Independent * "This one of the great adventure stories for young people, perhaps even more enjoyable than Treasure Island" * Observer * "It's a Victorian adventure story about the 18th century; about an orphan boy who becomes involved with smugglers and with one particular mentor figure - the grim old Elzevir Block. It is beautifully written and astonishingly vivid: you live alongside the boy trapped in a tomb, escaping along a cliff track, let down a deep well by a villain to find a lost diamond, fleeing to the Hague, being duped, arrested, put in a prison camp for years, transported to Java, shipwrecked at last on his own home beach" -- Libby Purves "A tale of smuggling and diamonds and winter storms, all set around a fictional village on the edge of Chesil Beach. In Faulkner's book, as in Ian McEwan's, the beach takes on a character of its own and the final scene, with its fearsome storm and its smugglers and crashing timbers, is as much about the beach as the characters." * Mail on Sunday *