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Devon Boys A Tale of the North Shore   By: (1831-1909)

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George Manville Fenn’s Devon Boys: A Tale of the North Shore is a captivating coming-of-age story that transports readers to the picturesque landscapes of the Devon coast. Set during the late 19th century, this tale follows the adventures of three inseparable friends - Dick Easy, Tom Randall, and Morson West - as they transition from carefree boys to responsible young men.

Fenn masterfully weaves together elements of adventure, friendship, and moral lessons, creating a delightful story that appeals to readers of all ages. The author’s vivid descriptions of the sprawling cliffs, sandy beaches, and quaint fishing villages allow readers to immerse themselves in the rich atmosphere of the Devon coast. From the thrilling excursions aboard their small sailboat to their encounters with local fishermen and smugglers, the story brims with excitement, evoking a sense of nostalgia for simpler times.

The characters themselves are well-crafted and engaging. Dick, the spirited and impulsive member of the trio, often finds himself at the center of both thrilling escapades and troubling predicaments. Tom, the ingenious problem-solver, provides a balancing force with his level-headedness and resourcefulness. Morson, the steadfast and reserved friend, offers unwavering support and loyalty, serving as the moral compass of the group. Together, these characters form a dynamic trio whose shared experiences shape their growth and friendship.

Beyond the excitement of their adventures, Devon Boys also explores themes of honor, responsibility, and the choices one must make in order to become a decent person. Fenn cleverly intertwines these themes throughout the narrative, demonstrating the importance of integrity and the consequences of succumbing to temptation. By presenting moral dilemmas and forcing the characters to make difficult decisions, the author encourages readers to reflect on their own values and the path they choose to follow.

While Fenn’s storytelling style is engaging, there are moments when the pace slows, particularly during lengthy descriptions of the coastal scenery. However, these instances do not significantly detract from the overall enjoyment of the book. In fact, for readers who appreciate scenic descriptions, these passages enhance the immersion into the story’s vibrant setting.

In conclusion, Devon Boys: A Tale of the North Shore is an enthralling novel that captures the spirit of friendship, adventure, and personal growth. Fenn’s precise and eloquent prose, coupled with his ability to transport readers to the enchanting Devon coast, makes this book a memorable read. This timeless coming-of-age tale will appeal to anyone seeking a spirited adventure blended with valuable life lessons.

First Page:

The Devon Boys, a Tale of the North Shore, by George Manville Fenn.

As per the title, the story revolves round the cliffs of the north shore of Devon, in South West England. It is 1752. There are three local teenage boys, who are all boarders at the nearby Barnstaple Grammar School. It is the summer holidays. Bob Chowne is the son of a local doctor, and is a bit cross in his manner; Bigley Uggleston is the son of a local fisherman (or smuggler), and is a very pleasant mannered boy; while Sep Duncan, the "I" of the story, is the son of Arthur John Duncan, a naval officer, who has just bought an extensive stretch of the cliffs.

The boys decide to move a rock from the top of the cliff, to the bottom. They use explosives, and there is exposed a rich vein of galena, a lead and silver ore, so Sep's father begins a mine, which does very well.

The boys get up to various daring escapades, which generally end up in near disaster, from which they are rescued by various turns of fortune, including being rescued from way out at sea by a Frenchman, a smuggler of course, who is in league with Bigley's father.

There is a French attack on the coast, but they were definitely looking for the twenty boxes of silver bullion Sep's father has amassed... Continue reading book >>

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