"The best of Dennis Wheatley"

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duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sat 18 Jun, 2011 09:28:30

Further to Steve W's suggestion, what about re-issuing the Roger Brook story in 4 omnibus editions containing 3 stories each.

The titles could simply be The Roger Brook Saga Vol1 1783-1792, The Roger Brook Saga Vol 2 1793-1798 etc.

We have also discussed at the conventions and on this forum which of DW's books could be adapted for TV. I had voiced the opinion that the Napoleonic era had already been covered in the "Sharpe" series, but on starting to re-read the Roger Brook saga now have feel that The Roger Brook story has potential to transfer to the small screen as it covers a longer period and from a different angle.

Could both of these ideas be feasible and indeed aid each other?

Best Regards to all

Duncan

Steve Whatley
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Post by Steve Whatley » Sat 18 Jun, 2011 14:06:01

I think that, as the Roger Brook novels tend to be longer than is usual even for DW, a set of six volumes each containing two titles would be more appropriate.

The first two could retain the original titles from the Hutchinson omnibus editions, 'The Early Adventures of Roger Brook' and 'Roger Brook In The French Revolution', and perhaps Library members could suggest titles for the other four volumes?

I've tried myself (and failed) to think of titles, and had thought of holding a competition at one of the Conventions, but feared that it would prove difficult for people to come up with appropriate titles. Are there any Roger Brook fans who can prove me wrong?

For those who are unfamiliar with the whole RB saga, the synopses of the first eleven titles which appear in the last volume 'Desperate Measures' may prove helpful.

The six omnibus volumes could be housed in a nice slip case.

I'm assuming that any suggestions of 'The Lusty Youth Of Roger Brook' being incorporated would fall on stoney ground.

Any ideas, anybody?[font=Courier New] [/font]

duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sat 18 Jun, 2011 15:30:11

Steve,

Very good point about the length and, bearing in mind recent comments on the Classic Black Magic trilogy, subsequent weight of the book.

Being lazy, because I can't think of anything better at the moment, how about The Roger Brook Saga Vol 1, 1783-1789, The Roger Brook Saga Vol 2,
1789- 1794 etc. (Your suggestions could also be used as sub titles).

Look forward to seeing what other suggestions are forthcoming.

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Post by Jim » Sun 19 Jun, 2011 04:36:23

Steve Whatley wrote: I think that, as the Roger Brook novels tend to be longer than is usual even for DW, a set of six volumes each containing two titles would be more appropriate.

The first two could retain the original titles from the Hutchinson omnibus editions, 'The Early Adventures of Roger Brook' and 'Roger Brook In The French Revolution', and perhaps Library members could suggest titles for the other four volumes? [font=Courier New] [/font]
How about 'Roger Brook Goes to War' for one, and then 'The Final Adventures of Roger Brook' at the end?

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Post by Steve Whatley » Sun 19 Jun, 2011 15:24:53

Hi Jim,

I'm not sure if you intend 'Roger Brook Goes To War' to cover 'The Sultan's Daughter' and 'The Wanton Princess' or 'Evil In A Mask' and 'The Ravishing Of Lady Mary Ware'? (Presumably not 'The Dark Secret Of Josephine' and 'The Rape Of Venice'?)

Couldn't we manage something a bit more imaginative than 'The Final Adventures..' for 'The Irish Witch' and 'Desperate Measures'? You may as well precede that volume with 'The Middle Adventures..' and 'The Later Adventures..'. How about 'Of Witchcraft and Waterloo'?

I suppose for 'The Sultan's Daughter' and 'The Wanton Princess', 'Roger's Right Royal Romps' would be considered too facetious?[font=Courier New] [/font]

Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun 19 Jun, 2011 17:49:59

Steve Whatley wrote: Hi Jim, I'm not sure if you intend 'Roger Brook Goes To War' to cover 'The Sultan's Daughter' and 'The Wanton Princess' or 'Evil In A Mask' and 'The Ravishing Of Lady Mary Ware'? (Presumably not 'The Dark Secret Of Josephine' and 'The Rape Of Venice'?)

Couldn't we manage something a bit more imaginative than 'The Final Adventures..' for 'The Irish Witch' and 'Desperate Measures'? You may as well precede that volume with 'The Middle Adventures..' and 'The Later Adventures..'. How about 'Of Witchcraft and Waterloo'?
Actually, I thought it would make a nice balance to The Early Adventures, and I think we want to keep Roger's name in the new titles. Since there's military action in virtually every book, RB Goes to War could cover whichever volumes you like.

Daughter and Princess could be combined as RB's Royal Liaisons, maybe...

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Post by Steve Whatley » Sun 19 Jun, 2011 19:09:35

Excellent, Jim. 'Roger Brook's Royal Liaisons' is certainly more discreet than my (admittedly tongue-in-cheek) suggestion.

As Dornford Yates would say, I give you best.[font=Courier New] [/font]

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Post by ken68 » Sun 10 Jul, 2011 11:11:55

A bit short notice I know but there an adaptation on i think radio 3 but it maybe radio 4 at 3 o'clock today of gormenghast for those that are interested . Hope it's not to late

Ken

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Post by duffellbag » Wed 17 Aug, 2011 18:47:12

"That merits a prize for the most unusual question of the year to date !

The answer - 9 1/2" or 24 cm

Will it fit ???"

Charles, a VERY belated response to your question re my bookshelf size, Im afraid it doesnt!

BUT im still pondering purchasing it...........

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Post by ken68 » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 21:53:36

Well I have read TDRO again and I want to ask a few questions. This edition has some of the numerology bit removed. Don't quite understand why but there it is!
Now I seem to remember a couple of things that I can't find anymore. When the duke and Rex return to Simons and find the clavicle Rex comments on the strange material and I seem to remember that the duke says that it's human skin!
Also in the film when Rex and the duke drive into the sabbat and the goat appears I am sure the duke says " the Goat of Mendes, the very devil himself." but it doesn't appear on my version. The copy I have is an American import so have our American cousin censored it?
Am I am imaging things? Or can anyone else remember these?

Ken

Jim
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Post by Jim » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 23:39:57

You're certainly not imagining the cuts in TDRO. In Chapter 23, "The Pride of Peacocks," all the numerological illustrations Tanith sketches out have been deleted in this version, along with a lot of text. Then copy has been added to replace what the tables showed! (I am checking against the 1977 Heinemann/Octopus edition, the oldest I have, with a dust jacket that claims it is "complete and unabridged." I assumed that any cuts would have already been inflicted on the Heron editions, but the tables are in the BCA omnibus. The Prion is from the same typesetting job as the Wordsworth reprints, I think.)

In both the Prion and Octopus editions, the Duke describes the Clavicle as being "of cork" (Chapter 5); if there's another reference, let me know and I'll see what's there.

While I was checking this, I had a brainstorm: THIS is the reason for the change of the Duke's name from "de Reichleau" to "de Richleau." The numerology would not have worked with the extra letter! When Three Inquisitive People was finally published in 1939, the typesetters went with the by-then established spelling.

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Post by duffellbag » Fri 19 Aug, 2011 15:46:02

I use to own a soft copy of the Heron edition of TDRO, from memory the numerology was included.

Jim
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Post by Jim » Fri 19 Aug, 2011 23:35:27

Yes, I'm sorry I didn't make that clearer. The two BCA omnibus volumes were not freshly typeset, but were carried over from the Heron series...to the point that DW's introduction actually refers to "these beautiful Heron editions"! (So the tables are in both...)

What's the "authentic" text for any Wheatley novel? The author--judging by his myriad continuity errors--seems never to have read any of his books a second time, but somebody okayed these changes. It's a collector's nightmare...and challenge.

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Post by duffellbag » Sat 20 Aug, 2011 18:19:16

Always best to look at it as a challenge Jim. I think continuity is more of an issue for fans (me included) than writers. The worlds of Doctor Who, Star Trek are other examples where continuity means so much to the fans.
We fans want the world of the fiction too fit as neatly as possible, but for the the writer its not so much of a concern, especially if they dont know whether the publisher will want a sequel or the writer does not see it as a priority of the readership.

I guess it was probably less of an issue for Roger Brook titiles as these, of course, were written in chronological order

I miss my Heron edition of TDRO as it had the intro by Dennis and nice illustrations (not all the heron edition illustrations were as good as this title and a lot look very 70s now, again from memory).

Garry Holmes
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Post by Garry Holmes » Sat 20 Aug, 2011 22:20:55

In a way, DW made something of a rod for his back by ageing his characters and putting them in a recognisable real-world background. Like you said, Roger Brook suffers least from this as they are all written in chronological order, and DW does almost seem to have had a game plan in mind from the very beginning. Once the Sallust series gets into its swing, the continuity is pretty straight, although it does fray a bit if you try to fit all of the books in. It's really the Modern Musketeer stories that have the biggest problems. I do love the fact that, having finished the series pretty definitively, he suddenly decides to write another instalment introducing an important new character (Miranda) who don't appear in the final volume! It's as if the author was determined not to be hemmed in by what he had already written. In the Jon Pertwee era of DR WHO, the script editor Terrance Dicks claimed that continuity was 'what we could remember'. If they couldn't remember it, it wasn't important. Pretty much sums up DW's feelings, I think.

I've recently finished the Heron edition of THE BLACK BARONESS, and the illustrations were absolutely AWFUL!!!! What the Hell made them think that some inky splotches would somehow make the books more collectible. They add absolutely nothing as far as I can see. DEVIL RIDES OUT has much better illustrations.

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