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The Four Feathers

A. E. W. Mason

Book Overview: 

The Four Feathers is an adventure novel by British writer A.E.W. Mason that has inspired many films of the same title.
The novel tells the story of British officer, Harry Feversham, who resigns his commission in the East Surrey Regiment just prior to Sir Garnet Wolseley's 1882 expedition to Egypt to suppress the rising of Urabi Pasha. He is faced with censure from three of his comrades for cowardice, signified by the delivery of three white feathers to him, from Captain Trench and Lieutenants Castleton and Willoughby, and the loss of the support of his Irish fiancée, Ethne Eustace, who presents him with the fourth feather. His best friend in the regiment, Captain Durrance becomes his rival for Ethne.
(Summary extracted from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ed for his companion's rapid promotion and success. Sympathy had stood Durrance in the stead of much ability. Sympathy had given him patience and the power to understand, so that during these three years of campaign he had left far quicker and far abler men behind him, in his knowledge of the sorely harassed tribes of the eastern Soudan. He liked them; he could enter into their hatred of the old Turkish rule, he could understand their fanaticism, and their pretence of fanaticism under the compulsion of Osman Digna's hordes.

"Yes, I shall come back," he said, "and in three months' time. For one thing, we know—every Englishman in Egypt, too, knows—that this can't be the end. I want to be here when the work's taken in hand again. I hate unfinished things."

The sun beat relentlessly upon the plateau; the men, stretched in the shade, slept; the afternoon was as noiseless as the morning; Durrance and Mather sat for some while compelled to silence b. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An adventure novel should earn its title, and The Four Feathers certainly does. Unexpected betrayal; a daring rescue; deus-ex-machinaed hope amidst the pit of despair; it's all here.

Still, The Four is pleasantly unique, and what sets it apart from the others of its genre is its surprisingly modern d

Las cuatro plumas

Libro ambientado al final del siglo XIX en la época colonial británica. Es una novela romántica aventurera que me ha sorprendido por su magnífica historia. Se publicó en 1902.

Cuenta la vida de Harry Feversham, oficial británico casi por obligación al ser hijo de militares, pero con

The Heath Ledger movie makes you think this book is an action thriller. That is false. Mason's work is a look into the emotions and decisions made by extraordinary people.

What war or fighting is described in this novel is described by characters who participated in it, and most of the story takes p

I mentioned this book a while back in my review of Beau Geste as also being somewhat dated by the writing style. I have read it before and was never overly enthralled...but I love the story. It's been copied and made into at least 3 movies I know of (1939, 1978 TV Movie, and 2002). So I decided to g

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