Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo must be feeling better about life these days, because I find that my zeal for acquiring new books is returned with a vengeance.

Following up on my remarks below about The Prisoner of Zenda, which I continue to enjoy, I was prompted by a discussion in an Aubrey/Maturin FacePlant group to which I belong to finally check out the works of Raphael Sabatini, to which end this evening I picked up copies of his Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk.  I chose these two title largely because I am a fan of the Errol Flynn movie versions of both.  Curiously, for all my usual crankiness about book/movie crossovers, I feel it really won’t bother me much if the novels are different from the films here. (I’ve never claimed to be consistent in my prejudices.)

While I was at it, I also picked up a copy of my first John Buchan work, The Leithen Stories: The Power-House; John Macnab; The Dancing Floor; Sick Heart River. I did this largely because every time I write a post like this one about classic adventure stories, some friend of the decanter invariably comments, “Tom, you really need to try some John Buchan.”  Whelp, here I go….

Finally, I circled back round to H. Rider Haggard and discovered that the devil’s website offers his complete Allan Quartermain series.  I picked up Volume 1 (King Solomon’s Mines – which I own in a stand-alone already – and Allan Quartermain) and Volume 2 (Allan’s Wife, Maiwa’s Revenge, and Marie).  There are something like seven volumes in all, and I plan to work my way through all of them.

This was enough impulse-buying for one go, but I also plan this fall to start expanding my collections of the works of both Kipling and Conan-Doyle, as well.

(Yes, when the Terror descends and the Antifa thugs break down the door of Port Swiller Manor and haul me away in the middle of the night, there will be ample evidence at my Anti-Revolutionary Justice and Reconciliation Tribunal to warrant a swift bullet to the back of my head.  Eh, so be it.)

Incidentally, and at least apropos of the Sabatini books, I am slightly over half-way through the trilogy of works by Hugh Thomas on the Spanish Empire:  Rivers of Gold, The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to MagellanThe Golden Empire – Spain, Charles V, and the Creation of America; and, World Without End – Spain, Phillip II, and The First Global Empire.  These books were very kindly sent to Ol’ Robbo by long-time friend of the decanter Old Dominion Tory.  I must say that they are fascinating but exhausting.  Thomas is a fanatic for details, one quickly gets lost in a sea of names, and sometimes the prose goes a bit squint.  But I’m loving them and learning a great deal, since most of my prior reading regarding Colonial America focuses on the French and British, with the Spanish only making an appearance on the fringes, as it were.

One thing Thomas notes:  It seems that there is no evidence available that either the Mexica or the Inca peoples – even prior to their contacts with Europeans – had any sense of humor.  I don’t know why this struck me, except that it makes me rather sad.  It’s what happens when the individual means nothing, I suppose.  Eldest is taking a pre-Columbian Mexico/South America history course this semester as part of her major requirement.  I must remember to bring this point up with her and see if she has any insights into it.