I’ve recently found some great items on Amazon for fans of P. C. Wren (the Beau Geste author who started a century of popular fiction and film about the classic French Foreign Legion). It is a series of five volumes of the Wren’s short stories, compiled by John L. Espley and released back in September of 2012. They are available on Amazon in both hard copy ($10.00) and Kindle format ($7.00). Previews are available for each and you can peek at the Table of Contents, the Preface, Introduction as well as the first story.
At first I thought this was another type of rip-off you see lately at Amazon’s Kindle Store–where folks have been selling public domain works by the story and you wind up paying $1.99 for a 17 page story or $9.99 for a poorly assembled and converted Frankenstein of an eBook. This item however is an amazing collection put together by a dedicated and knowledgeable fan of P. C. Wren. I’ve bought the first volume and found it an excellent value. It was very well done with an introduction to the volume as well as for each story that explains when it was first published and how it relates to other Wren works. Lots of effort was put into these volumes in order to track down, find and gain access to actual copies of some very obscure stories written by Wren. You also get a lot for your money here–all volumes are over 300 pages and contain well over a dozen short stories…and it has been proofread and converted to kindle format without those annoying formatting problems you often encounter.
The following is a list of the stories in Volume One. Those in red are about the Foreign Legion and many of these can be found in copies of Wren’s own short story collections such as Flawed Blades, Dead Men’s Boots and Stories of the Foreign Legion but there are some here and in the other volumes that I’ve never seen before. I’ve only just started reading Volume 1 and intend on buying the other volumes at a later date and will be sure to give provide my reviews of each at this blog.
Ten Little Legionaries
A La Ninon de L’enclos
An Officer and–A Liar
The Dead Hand
“Here are Ladies”
“Vengeance is Mine…”
Sermons in Stones
The Coward of the Legion
The Saxon and the Gael and Things
Ancient Britons and Modern
Tosh and Funny-Dog
Concerning William Henry Winterbotham
The Stuart Queen
The Virtuous Tiger
Bobball Again, and a Study in Contrasts
Drummers and Rummers
The Vegetarian Mugger of Soni
The Royal and Ancient Game at Karabad
At Oxford: Innocent Ernest and Artful Eintz
The Merry Liars
The Double Saddle