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Verne, Jules
english translation: 1960
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Ace H-41

Jerome Podwil

1960 translation by I. O. Evans (?) of L'Etonnante Aventure de la Mission Barsac - 1919 (French.) A "Fitzroy Edition" - published first in Britain by Arco, and shortly thereafter in U.S.A. by Associated Booksellers. Large books were often split into 2 volumes or abridged by Evans to conform to publisher's length requirements of approx. 190 pages.

Into The Niger Bend - Book 1 of "The Barsac Mission." (summary from the introduction to The City in the Sahara): The Barsac Mission was sent out at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century to ascertain whether the Negroes of French West Africa were qualified to become voters and citizens. After being threatened and impeded, robbed of its armed escort and of its native porters, its members were pounced on in mysterious circumstances, pinioned, and threatened with death. Accompanying the Mission was a young English girl, Jane Blazon, passing under the pseudonym of Jane Mornas. With her elderly nephew, Agenor de St. Berain, she had undertaken the journey to clear the name of her brother, George Blazon, accused of having turned traitor and led the native troops he commanded in murderous attacks on the Negroes. In his grave at Koubo she found evidence of his innocence. By taking this news to her father, Lord Blazon of Glenor, Jane hoped to restore the old man's peace of mind, shattered by this stain on the family honor, but the kidnapping of the Barsac Mission had precluded this...

Beginning in 1958, the "Fitroy" editions were translated or edited by I. O. Evans (in some cases he did the first English translation.) Sometimes he made abridgements - the publishers had requirements that the books be a certain length; this explains why longer books were broken into 2 parts. Ace only reprinted 10 of the 63 "Fitzroy" editions in paperbak, but did a very classy job: the wonderful covers by Jerome Podwil perfectly capture period and mood.