Pemberton, M. (1901) The Giant’s Gate

giantsgate_coverSir Max Pemberton (1901) The Giant’s Gate, the Story of a Great Adventure

Sir Max Pemberton (19 June 1863 – 22 February 1950) was a popular British novelist, working mainly in the adventure and mystery genres. He was educated at St Albans School, Merchant Taylors’ School, and Caius College, Cambridge. A clubman, journalist and dandy (Lord Northcliffe admired his ‘fancy vests’), he frequented both Fleet Street and The Savage Club. Pemberton was the editor of boys’ magazine Chums in 1892–1893 during its heyday. Between 1896 and 1906 he also edited Cassell’s Magazine, in which capacity he published the early works of R. Austin Freeman and William Le Queux. [Wikipedia]

France is again the unsuccessful antagonist in The Giant’s Gate: A Story of a Great Adventure (1901), this time using advanced submarines to bypass the UK’s defence systems. [SFE at: http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/pemberton_max#sthash.vKSjj2gY.dpuf]

There is an unfavourable review in the Spectator: The Spectator, 12 October 1901, p.23 at http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/12th-october-1901/23/other-novels

Another unflattering review: “The Giant’s Gate”. It is to be feared that this book will not add to Max Pemberton’s reputation as a writer of good stories. It is Interesting in a way and the fact that the scene is laid in the France of today, at the time of the anti-Jewish excitement, when the national feeling broke forth in bloody riots, adds to Its attractiveness. Jules Davignon, the youngest general in the French army, the idol of the fickle populace, is the hero. He dreams of the day when the republic shall be overturned and he shall become emperor or dictator. Still he feels that the time has not come for action, although his friend, the Baronne d’Arbois, whose salon is the resort for Paris society, constantly urges him to take advantage of the situation. Then he meets Lady Kathleen Veremont, an English girl, with whom he promptly falls in love. The “Giant’s Gate” is the English channel. Davignon, accompanied by the inventor, sails under the sea to London in a submarine boat and dreams of the day when England c.hall be invaded by the hosts of France. But there is many a slip. After the death of President Faure, Davignon’s friends tell him that the time has come to strike; but the general finds himself under arrest at the critical moment. France still loves the republic. Davignon is sentenced to a year’s imprisonment, and to banishment from France thereafter. The Baronne d Arbois had fled, but the Lady Kathleen was faithful, waiting patiently for Davignon’s release from prison. His ambition was shattered, but his love was satisfied. Many will think the result was all for the best. THE GIANT’S GATE. By Max Pemberton. Cloth, illustrated; price, $1.50. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. [Los Angeles Herald, Volume XXIX, Number 201, 20 April 1902: http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH19020420.2.394.23]

 

 

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