Book Review//Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner


Moonfleet is an old-fashioned adventure novel. It is the kind of book you picture a child of yesteryear devouring while sitting on the branch of a tree eating candy out of a brown paper bag, possibly falling out of the tree at the most exciting moments. Moonfleet was originally published in 1898 and apparently remained popular for many years. I never heard of it until I stumbled on a free Kindle copy ages ago. I put it on my Classics Club list and thought I would get around to it eventually. Which I did. It just took a while.

John Trenchard is an orphan who lives in the village of Moonfleet near the sea in the south of England. There is a legend in the village that tells of Colonel John "Blackbeard" Mahone who stole a diamond from King Charles I and took the knowledge of its location to his death. John gets locked in the crypt, finds the key to the treasure, gets involved with smugglers, has to escape and go into hiding, finds the treasure, loses the treasure, is imprisoned, escapes, is shipwrecked, and finally ends up back in the village of Moonfleet. Believe it or not, I left out a few adventures.

This is basically a rollicking tale of adventure and derring-do that reads like a movie playing in your head. I spent the whole time I was reading it thinking that it really should be made into a movie but I am not the first to think that. A movie was released in 1955 though many plot elements were changed. There was also a radio drama done by the BBC in 1963 and a BBC TV adaptation in 1964. There was another mini-series in 1984. So, it looks like the whole world knew about this book except for me.

Read it. It is a perfect escape into a world where adventure awaits around every corner and the escapades and trials you face somehow always bring you home, happy and ready to marry the love you left behind. Who doesn't need an escape like that occasionally?

8 comments

  1. I love rollicking tales of adventure, so I've just downloaded a copy. When I went to add it to the list of books in my Kindle library, I noticed that I have another one by Falkner called The Lost Stradivarius. I haven't read that one either, but it was recommended by a friend.

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    1. I have another Falkner as well. It is The Nebuly Coat. I haven't read it yet though.

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  2. I enjoyed this one when I read it back in 2010, but I'm drawn to tales about smuggling and old-fashioned adventures. Atmospheric photo.

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    1. Sometimes a good, old-fashioned adventure is exactly what is needed. The photo was taken in Maine. I love the coastline up there.

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  3. This is on my Classics Club list too, though I haven't read it yet. I'm glad you enjoyed it - it does sound fun!

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    1. It was fun. I have neglected my Classics Club list for way too long and now I am trying to catch up.

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  4. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy do you do this to me? My CC list and my TBR list are long enough already. But this sounds so exactly like something I'd dig.

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    1. I do think you would like this. Remember, book lists are never long enough. There is always room for one more.

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