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In The Reign Of Terror: The Adventures Of A Westminster Boy

by G. A. Henty

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Book Description
Harry Sandwith comes to live at the chateau of a French marquis, and after various adventures accompanies the family to Paris at the crisis of the Revolution. Imprisonment and death reduce their number, and the hero finds himself beset by perils with the three young daughters of the house in his charge. After hairbreadth escapes they reach Nantes, where the girls are captured and condemned to death in the coffin ships, but are saved by the unfailing courage of their boy-protector.

Date: 1793
Location: Europe, France
Main Event: French Revolution

About the Author
G. A. Henty's life was filled with exciting adventure. After completing his work at Westminster School, he attended Cambridge University, where he undertook a rigorous course of study and also enjoyed boxing, wrestling, and rowing. The strenuous study and healthy, competitive participation in sports prepared Henty for his adventures. To name just a few, he fought with the British army in the Crimea, served as a war correspondent during Garibaldi's fight for independence in Italy, visited Abyssinia, witnessed the Franco-Prussian war while in Paris, observed the Carlists in Spain, attended the opening of the Suez Canal, toured India with the Prince of Wales (later Edward II), and visited the California gold fields.

G. A. Henty lived during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and began his story-telling career with his own children. After dinner it was his custom to spend an hour or two telling them a story that often continued for days. In fact, some stories lasted for weeks! One evening a friend happened to be present during Henty's "story hour." Watching the children as they sat spell-bound, he urged Henty to write down his stories so others could enjoy them. Happily for us, Henty did so. One of his secretaries reported that he often would pace rapidly back and forth in his study dictating stories as fast as the secretary could record them. He became known to his readers as "The Prince of Story-Tellers" and "The Boys Own Historian." Henty's stories revolve around a fictional boy hero during fascinating periods of history. His heroes are diligent, courageous, intelligent, and dedicated to their country and cause in the face of, at times, great peril. Respected historians have acknowledged his histories, particularly the accounts of battles, for their accuracy. His ability to bring his readers action-packed adventure in an accurate historical setting makes the study of history exciting, and removes the drudgery often associated with such study.


I found this really interesting, as my father's name was Harry Sandwith (actually Harry Fuller Molyneux Sandwith. I grew up looking at photographs, medals and swords of Capt Harry Sandwith, who fought in Crimea. I noticed that Henty was a correspondent in that war, making a link between his work and the character in this book. I grew up in South Africa. My Sandwith forebears must have come to this country towards the end of the 19th century. Others went to Canada, where there is a large contingent of Sandwiths. I live in Washington DC now. Trevor Sandwith


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