The Stout Fellas Stories

I love reading as escapism.  I love books that take me to another time or another place.  The Stout Fellas stories started out as an attempt to capture everything I love in that sort of fiction.

The Stout Fellas books are inspired by the fiction of John Buchan and Robert Louis Stevenson, and the nonfiction of Peter Hopkirk.  The name comes from a title of merit awarded by the main characters in P.C. Wren’s “Beau Geste”.

The Stout Fellas are Robinson Holywell, Ethan McCormick, and Ewart Grogan, three friends all born in Britain in 1857.  Holywell is a Cambridge don while the others are army officers, and they find themselves in one adventure after another all over the world.  Most of the adventures fit the technology and science of the late Victorian era, but some have elements of science fiction and the supernatural.  They are also frequently accompanied by M’Butu, a Zulu adopted by McCormick during the Zulu War, and Jim Diamond, an officer in the US Navy.

The Stout Fellas books, in order of writing:

The first three books were written as a trilogy, although the first was written to stand on its own and does not leave loose ends hanging about.

The Two Valleys / Dawn After the Fall of Night (2005) – 1895; Holywell and Grogan independently acquire mysterious artifacts of a lost civilization, and the Stout Fellas find themselves in a race against two secret societies to the location of a repository of lost knowledge.  Originally written as one book, it was separated for reasons of length; the combined book was titled “Dawn After the Fall of Night”.

The Lost Cities / The Gate of the Sun (2006) – 1896; the Stout Fellas search for the lost civilization whose knowledge they discovered in “Dawn After the Fall of Night”.  This turns into a quest for the secret of the civilization’s ancient teleportation gates.  Originally written as one book, it was separated for reasons of length; the combined book was titled “The Gate of the Sun”.

The Navel of the Earth / The War For Agarttha (2006) – 1898; the Stout Fellas find diverse ways to the interior of the earth and the decadent land of Agarttha, and then try to save it from its enemies.  Originally written as one book, they were separated for reasons of length; the combined book was titled “The Navel of the Earth”.

The Golden Age (2006) – 1901; the Stout Fellas go to Spain to investigate mysterious events there, and find themselves pursuing a time machine sent from the past.

White Witch Well (2006) – 1872; the Stout Fellas visit Germany during a school holiday and get involved with a family curse.

The Ruby of Rajasthan (2007) – 1885; the Stout Fellas try to recover a stolen ruby in Scotland before it causes the ruin of a family, fail, and then have to chase all over Europe in pursuit.

Treasure of the Manila Galleon (2007) – 1883; the Stout Fellas, Diamond, and M’Butu face off against German agents in pursuit of a lost Spanish treasure in the South Seas.

Island of the Dodos (2009) – 1882 and 1905; this book is unique for the series in that it is actually three novellas, each dealing with the solo adventures of one of the three men.  McCormick deals with a ghostly city in Indochina, Holywell travels to an uncharted island in the Indian Ocean, and Grogan takes part in Younghusband’s expedition to Tibet.

The Grey Men (2011) – 1916; McCormick recruits Holywell to join military intelligence during the Great War.  Holywell fruitlessly tries to stop the war with secret negotiations, and later has to deal with his son being arrested for mutiny.

Cape to Cairo (in progress) – 1879; Grogan walks from Capetown to Cairo to win the heart of his beloved Gertrude.  Along the way, he meets up with McCormick in the Zulu War, starts the friendship with Jim Diamond in Eritrea, and has adventures with Holywell in Egypt.

Death or Glory Boys (in progress) – 1873



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