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Burr Junior   By: (1831-1909)

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Burr Junior by George Manville Fenn is a delightful tale that transports readers back to 19th-century England. Fenn weaves a captivating story centered around the life of young Burr Junior, the son of a wealthy businessman. Set against the backdrop of the industrial revolution, Fenn expertly captures the spirit and struggles of the era.

The novel opens with the intrepid Burr Junior, a curious and fiercely independent boy who craves adventure. He is constantly seeking to learn and explore the world around him, much to the dismay of his worried parents. Fenn masterfully illustrates the tension between Burr Junior's desire for freedom and his parents' need to protect him.

As the story unfolds, readers are introduced to a diverse cast of characters. From the charming and resourceful street urchin, Toby, to the stern yet compassionate Mr. Frowde, each character adds depth and richness to the narrative. Fenn's ability to create believable and relatable personas makes it easy to become emotionally invested in their journeys.

One of the strengths of Burr Junior lies in Fenn's vivid descriptions. Whether it's the bustling streets of London or the eerie silence of the countryside, Fenn paints a rich tapestry that transports readers to each location. The author's meticulous attention to detail enhances the immersive reading experience, allowing readers to fully envision the sights, sounds, and smells of Victorian England.

Throughout the book, Fenn expertly explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and perseverance. As Burr Junior faces numerous challenges and obstacles, he learns valuable life lessons that shape his character. His growth as a young man is both inspiring and realistic, highlighting the importance of determination and resilience in the face of adversity.

Fenn's prose flows effortlessly, making the book an enjoyable and accessible read for both young adult and adult audiences. The pacing is well-structured, with suspenseful moments that keep readers eagerly turning the pages. The dialogue, while reflecting the historical period, is natural and engaging, ensuring that readers stay fully engrossed in the unfolding story.

While Burr Junior is classified as historical fiction, it also touches on important social issues of the time. Fenn subtly explores the disparities between the wealthy elite and the working class, shedding light on the harsh realities faced by the less privileged. These insights add depth and authenticity to the narrative, giving readers a broader understanding of the time period.

In conclusion, Burr Junior is a captivating historical novel that will transport readers to 19th-century England. George Manville Fenn's engaging storytelling, well-developed characters, and expertly crafted setting make it a highly enjoyable read. This book is a must-read for fans of historical fiction, as well as those seeking a compelling coming-of-age tale.

First Page:

Burr Junior, by George Manville Fenn.

I thought that it was unusual for Manville Fenn to set a novel in a boys' boarding school, since I had become used to exotic settings in Malaysia, or South America, for his tension filled novels. Here he certainly does not disappoint if it's tension and suspense you are expecting of him. The last few chapters, in particular, are extremely nail biting, but the book is quite hard to put down at any point.

It is Burr who is telling the story, and from his first day at the school he is friendly with Mercer, who is not good at his school work, but who knows a great deal about natural history, and imparts it to Burr, and of course to the readers as well. There is a gang of other boys who are inclined to bully, and at first they make life misery for Burr and Mercer but this is soon got over.

Other important figures are Hopley, the gamekeeper; his daughter Polly; the school Cook; Lomax, the school drill sergeant; Magglin, a ne'er do well and poacher; Dr Browne, the headmaster, and Mrs Browne; Rebble and Hasnip, ushers at the school; Burr's mother, and his uncle, Colonel Seaborough; and the local big landowner, General Sir Hawkhurst Rye.

It was a very enjoyable book to transcribe, and I am sure you will enjoy it... Continue reading book >>

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