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Editorial Reviews. Review. “One of the most popular storytellers of the century.” ―The Daily Telegraph. “The greatest adventure writer of his time.” ―The Daily. The Forbidden Territory (Duke De Richleau Book 5) and millions of other books are available for instant access. view Kindle eBook | view Audible audiobook.
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At a ruined Atlantean temple some miles north of the Madeira River in the Amazon basin, Silvia interrupted a black magic ceremony, setting off a violent electrical storm in which she, the Prince and his acolytes perished. To Wheatley fans, the story of how and why he embarked on a literary career is pretty well-known, but nonetheless bears retelling. What marvellous fun we had! As a soldier of fortune, de Richleau joined the Turkish army to fight in the First Balkan War, where he commanded an army corps of Kurdish troops and took part in the Battle of Monastir in November Wheatley never gained the popularity in the U.
Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural - Wordsworth. Duke de Richleau. Rex van Ryn.
The success of the business financed a lavish lifestyle during the roaring twenties, but Wheatley was hit hard by the Depression of the early thirties and ended up losing the business. Recently married, for the second time, and with many expenses, he found himself looking with some urgency for alternative forms of income. I was reduced to living on Joan, as my mother refused to help me, and I still had a number of debts Joan was an excellent manager and we lived very quietly, practicing every possible economy.
She sacked her cook and took over the kitchen. There were no more theatres, dining out or giving cocktail parties. For drink we had to limit ourselves, except on special occasions, to a glass of sherry each in the evenings. I could only sit, brooding, day after day in the flat. It was my wonderful Joan who saved me from this ghastly, futile existence. I had shown her some of my short stories I had written years before, just for fun. One day she said: "Why don't you write a book?
I'm sure you could.
But having a shot at it would at least take my mind off my worries; so I bought some paper and sat down to write a thriller. It was accepted, and Wheatley made his fifty pounds: The book was published on 3rd January The first printing of The Forbidden Territory had been copies, but only had had the pictorial endpapers pasted in. The demand of the trade had been so large that the other copies had had to be rushed out without endpapers; and orders to reprint the book had already been sent before it had even been published. I had become a best-seller overnight.
But, thanks largely to one of their later adventures called The Devil Rides Out , it is these, whom he sometimes referred to as "those modern musketeers" - inspired by his childhood love of Dumas, probably his greatest literary influence - that remain his best-known. The leader of the four, the Duke, is an elderly French aesthete and Royalist "for us who preserve the loyalties of our birth, there is still a King of France" , unable to return to the country of his birth on account of his participation in a failed coup to restore the French monarchy, and now a citizen of the world who divides his time between wine, cigars and the imparting of a lifetime's wisdom to a coterie of younger accolytes.
It was a character that, somehow, one cannot imagine anyone but Wheatley creating. Incidentally, my edition of the book - part of the beloved Heron series - spells the character's name throughout as De Reichleau - I have yet to discover if this is a misprint, or something that Wheatley deliberately revised - perhaps because of Nazi connotations - as the series progressed. Interestingly, however, The Forbidden Territory was not that first thriller he settled down to write at Joan's instigation, neither was it the first book he had accepted for publication, nor even was it the first appearance of the modern musketeers.
The characters were originally created for a murder thriller inspired in part by Wheatley's feelings of resentment against his mother, in which he imagined her being drowned in her bath for her insurance.