In the gaslit days before the First World War, when Sherlock Holmes wandered the foggy streets of London, the espionage story was invented. Holmes himself was occasionally called in to investigate cases of lost diplomatic papers, but he wasn't the first specialist in such matters. That honor goes to Newton Moore, the creation of Fred M. White. In Romance of the Secret Service Bag, a series of six stories appearing in Pearson's Magazine in 1900, Moore deals with Russian Adventuresses (with daggers secreted in their corsages), German spy masters, murderous Indian potentates, Balkan intrigues, rifles that will "entirely revolutionize infantry tactics," and purloined plans of all sorts.
Written at a time when spying was romantic, public-school ideals triumphed, and patriotism was supreme, Romance of the Secret Service Bag is evocative of a lost era – and one of the most important series of espionage stories never to appear in book form – until now.
Fred M. White (1859– ?) was a prolific writer for the fiction magazines from the 1890's to the 1920's. Douglas G. Greene, who edited and introduced this book, is Professor of History at Old Dominion University, and author or editor of 18 books.
Trade Paperback, 114 pp.
ISBN 1-55246-442-3 $20.00
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