Pendragon — Late of Prince Albert’s Own

By Robert Trevelyan

This book — the first a moderately long series — is really, really weird. It’s the last gasp of a long-dead genre, the swashbuckling, China-men ridden adventure story of which Oppenheim was the last great representative. This book was first published in 1975, and apart from some token nods towards modern times (the cousin of the hero is leaning towards emancipation, that is, taking a boyfriend without intention of marriage), it’s as if you’re reading something written a hundred years ago…

  • Author: Robert Trevelyan
  • Title: Pendragon, Late of Prince Albert’s Own
  • Pages: 191
  • Published: 1975
  • Publisher: Corgi

Not that it didn’t grab my attention, the third time I picked up the book (bought for 25 cents…), and was tired enough to keep it picked up, instead of swapping it for something else, but my goodness. There’s a wild, giant Russian mastermind. There are triads. Chinamen to be chopped up by honest British sabers. A plucky street urchin. A loyal sergeant. A beautiful lady. A secret assignment. A code letter even more ineptly composed than the one in Have His Carcase. And nowhere even a hint of some auctorial conciousness about the passé-ness of what he’s doing…