Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner
Moonfleet (1898) is both a mystery and an adventure story, a tale of smuggling set among the cliffs, caves, and downs of Dorset. What will be the outcome of the conflict between the smugglers and the revenue men? How can the hero, John Trenchard, discover the secret of Colonel John Mohune's treasure? As the book progresses these two interwoven themes resolve themselves into a third and richer one, with the friendship and suffering of John Trenchard and the man of Minn, Elzevir Block. The novel is at once a well-paced account of dramatic action and a celebration of the unregainable freedoms of childhood, when, as Falkner wrote in a letter to his sister, "there are no seasons, everything happens all the year round". Falkner's feeling for history and for the topography of his Dorset setting combine with his gift for storytelling to turn "Moonfleet" into an historical romance of moving intensity. This book should be of interest to general readers, especially those with an interest in adventure writing, children's fiction; and students of children's literature at undergraduate and postgraduate level.