Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I'm willing to bet most of you never heard of this one. EXPLOITS AND ADVENTURES OF BRIGADIER GERARD  by Arthur Conan Doyle  may only be known to Doyle fans, but you will do yourself a disservice if you my friends do not take the time to read this excellent collection of works brought back through time with the help of Mr. George Macdonald Fraser a very distinguished writer himself, and one who has earned his place in literary history. Gerard is a French cavalier , a hussar is what they were called in France. Not overly tall, not very strong, but brave as brave can be to do what no other man would dream for the glory of his regiment, his honor, the honor of his emperor Napoleon, or the honor of a woman.  For the French then as now have that singular reputation to love first and fight later.  Gerard is a debonair, dapper, gentleman soldier who will ride with the best of horseman, and defeat any enemy with his sword.  He's a conceited fellow, full of himself, and his greatness, but as the stories unfold one can see the character mature from a young hot blooded soldier, to a gallant colonel of the Hussars to an old man telling tales in a cafe. And, with age comes wisdom, and with his experiences come respect for his enemies, as well as humbling in his heart.  The reader may be turned off from him at first, but I promise you my friends that by the end of these shorts you will want to be in that cafe with him sharing a pint while listening to his tales.  What a great collection to have on hand for story after story puts the brigadier in the most dire of situations but "courage" he'll say, and fight his way out to win his life, or his mission in the end.  This is a feel good set to read during a good rain to lift your spirits with ties in history of the wars between the French and the English.