Robert Louis Stevenson

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson (Vintage Circa 1950s Hardcover)

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“The Black Arrow: A Tale of Two Roses” is a historical adventure novel written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. The novel was serialized in the magazine “Young Folks” from 1883 to 1884 and was published as a book in 1888. Set during the Wars of the Roses in England (15th century), “The Black Arrow” is a tale of political intrigue, romance, and adventure.

Key elements of “The Black Arrow” include:

1. **Historical Setting:** The novel is set in England during the tumultuous period known as the Wars of the Roses (1455–1487), a series of civil wars fought between the rival houses of Lancaster and York for control of the English throne.

2. **Adventure and Romance:** The story follows the adventures of the young protagonist, Richard Shelton, as he becomes entangled in the political machinations of the time. The novel includes elements of romance as Richard develops feelings for a mysterious woman named Joanna Sedley.

3. **The Black Arrow:** The title refers to a mysterious black arrow that becomes a symbol of rebellion and resistance. Richard discovers the arrow and becomes involved with a group of outlaws known as “The Black Arrow Fellowship,” who oppose the corrupt rule of Sir Daniel Brackley.

4. **Political Intrigue:** The novel explores the complex and dangerous political landscape of the Wars of the Roses, with characters navigating shifting alliances and betrayals.

5. **Medieval England:** Stevenson captures the atmosphere of medieval England, depicting castles, battles, and the social structures of the time.

“The Black Arrow” is unique among Stevenson’s works, as it is one of the few historical novels he wrote. The novel is notable for its swashbuckling adventure, its exploration of political turmoil, and its portrayal of a young hero’s coming-of-age journey. While it may not be as well-known as some of Stevenson’s other works like “Treasure Island” or “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” “The Black Arrow” remains a compelling and historically rich tale within the adventure genre.


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