Historical Fiction Hyne, Cutcliffe: The Escape Agents (1910); v1; 31 Jan 2020
#1  Pulpmeister 01-31-2020, 12:53 AM
It is Napoleonic France, specifically 1810-11, and a motley group are engaged in the risky business of freeing French prisoners of war from Spanish camps.

Six connected short stories forming a short novel of some 45,000 words.

(For the unitiated, a vivandiere is a woman camp follower who operates a kitchen for soldiers; and Sallee is a town on the opposite bank of the river from Rabat in Morocco)

1: The New Commission
2: The First Fifty-Four
3: The Yellow Galley-Full
4: The Pirate
5: Two Duels
6: Slaves In Sallee
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#2  Pulpmeister 02-02-2020, 11:25 PM
I thought this was too short to be the complete volume as published. According to a reference, the actual book opened with a Captain Kettle story (un-named, alas), and after the six Escape Agent stories finished with another short story, "Elixir vitae".

If I can get hold of those two stories, I'll add them and put up a V2.

#3  BobC 02-03-2020, 10:49 AM
I prepped a copy of Escape Agents a couple of months back - I hadn't proofed it so didn't put a copy on MR.

Mine is the same as yours - just six stories. I thought I got it from but can't find it there so am not sure of my source. However most of the references I have found say that the stories were first published in Pearsons Magazine in 1906. This suggests they were published separately.

I think a compilation of the six was published about 1911 but why it should contain a "Kettle" is unclear.


#4  Pulpmeister 02-03-2020, 06:42 PM
I got mine from Gutenberg Aust, originally uploaded there in 2006. No source was given there. I found the sketchy info about the printed book contents by searching google hits, and only one of the references, including books for sale, mentioned the contents, and then only vaguely. The additional stories would have been to bring the book up to a saleable size, as the Escape Agents stories only come to 46,000 words, a bit light on for British publishers, who preferred at least 70,000.

As with practically all of Cutcliffe Hyne's books, they appeared in magazines first.

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