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The Broad Highway

Jeffery Farnol

Book Overview: 

Our hero, Peter Vibart, an Oxford graduate with no means of support but for 10 guineas he has inherited, sets out on a walking tour of the Kent countryside. Along the way, he meets many quaint and adoring characters as well as a few ne’er-do-wells, meets with several disasters and triumphs, and eventually he meets "The Woman," who leads him to even more disasters and triumphs.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . was seemingly no chance of escape, it lying out of the usual track of ships, and this girl was, as I have said, very beautiful. Under such conditions her fate would have been unspeakable degradation, and probably death; but, sir, I fought and bled for her, not once but many times, and eventually I killed one of them with my sheath-knife, and I remember, to this hour, how his blood gushed over my hands and arms, and sickened me. After that they waited hourly to avenge his death, and get me out of their way once and for all, but I had my long knife, and they but such rude weapons as they could devise. Day after day, and night after night, I watched for an opportunity to escape with the boat, until at last, one day while they were all three gone inland, not dreaming of any such attempt, for the sea was very dangerous and high, with the girl's help I managed to launch the boat, and so stood out to sea. And I remember those three sailors came running with great shouts an. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An old tale of a young man’s journey to his future. I loved the gentle humor of the story and the narration by the hero, as well as how he reacts to the things that go on around him in the story.

However, I would only recommend it to adults. There is frequent swearing but of more concern is the ex...more

1.5* Out of sheer disappointment. Everything was good, great, in fact - a great start, I'd say. There was more than enough groundwork for a satisfying story, one where the reader knows exactly what has to happen, but no clue how, and bad things happen to our hero but he's plucky...
And then the gi...more

, 4 1/2 I took half a star off because it starts too slowly, Winds of Fortune has a faster, livelier beginning.

(*Sigh*) It was so good…

Peter Vibart is his uncle's favorite nephew and as such, it has always been expected that he would inherit the lands, fortune and title of his uncle. But, his s...more

This was my grandparents' favourite book. They were born right at the very beginning of the twentieth century, and they felt that Jeffery Farnol's books described their world exactly as it was when they were growing up. This was the absolute favourite, and with their reminiscences I came to reali...more

My mum said she remembers her mother had read it, so thought it would be interesting. The 1910 romantic novel is set in her stomping grounds in Kent, and you can practically visualize a 1930s b&w film/dialogue, which reminds me of the Scarlet Pimpernel in reverse. Writing about an era 100 yea...more

Really enjoyed reading this book mainly for the story and narative. I could read this again someday.
Peter and Charmain were meant to be together. Charmain was the name of the woman that played the oldest daughter Leisl in the Sound of Music Movie. From the Bard and Banker library list.

One of my favorite Farnol novels. Farnol creates a dreamlike sense of wonder that is delightful. This books is a period story of action and romance and mystery, told with humor, simplicity, power - and whimsy. Not to be missed.

Still my favorite and probably always will be. Just a good-hearted book and wonderful characters; from the Ancient, to Black George, to sweet Prudence, mercurial Charmain, and Peter Vibart. If you want to try out Farnol's works, The Broad Highway is a great one to start and one of the great swash...more

This is a classic example of the early 20th century notion of the hero as manly, mystic, bohemian laborer who has abandoned the upper class life, love as other-worldly, pure, unfathomable nature and evil as indolent, violent excess.

It reminds me a bit of those elements as found in "Green Mansions...more

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