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"The Gallant, Good Riou", and Jack Renton 1901   By: (1855-1913)

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Louis Becke’s "The Gallant, Good Riou, and Jack Renton 1901" is a captivating collection of stories that transport readers to the vast seas and adventures of the South Pacific. Set against the backdrop of the early 20th century, this book weaves together tales of courage, resilience, and camaraderie that will leave readers longing for more.

The first story, "The Gallant, Good Riou," introduces us to a charismatic and valiant character, Riou, who encounters adversity while sailing the treacherous ocean waters. Becke skillfully brings out the essence of Riou's character, showcasing his unwavering determination and his deep connection to the vast expanse of the sea. Readers are drawn into a world of high-stakes battles with natural forces, as Riou faces his fears head-on. The vivid descriptions of the raging storms and the challenges faced by the sailors make the story come alive, leaving readers on the edge of their seats.

In "Jack Renton 1901," Becke takes us on a different yet equally enthralling journey. This time, we follow the protagonist, Jack Renton, as he navigates the intricate web of colonialism, love, and betrayal. Set in the political landscape of Pacific islands, Becke skillfully creates a captivating narrative that delves into the complicated dynamics between different cultures. Jack Renton's character is multifaceted, and readers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster as they witness his personal struggles and the choices he must make.

One of the notable strengths of Becke’s writing is his ability to craft vivid scenery that transports readers to the heart of the South Pacific. The author effortlessly depicts the lush landscapes, the mystical allure of remote islands, and the immense power of the ocean waves. Furthermore, Becke's attention to historical and cultural details paints a realistic picture of the era, providing readers with a glimpse into a world long gone.

However, while the storytelling is engrossing, the book sometimes suffers from pacing issues. There are instances where the narratives seem to drag on, slowing down the general flow of the stories. Additionally, some readers may find the language and diction slightly archaic, which can make certain passages a challenge to fully grasp.

Overall, "The Gallant, Good Riou, and Jack Renton 1901" is a compelling collection of adventurous tales that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the South Pacific. Louis Becke's masterful storytelling and rich descriptions create a vivid and immersive reading experience. Despite its occasional pacing and language drawbacks, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking to experience the bravery, excitement, and vastness of the untamed seas.

First Page:


From "The Tapu Of Banderah and Other Stories"

By Louis Becke

C. Arthur Pearson Ltd.



This is a true story of one of Nelson's captains, he of whom Nelson wrote as "the gallant and good Riou" high meed of praise gloriously won at Copenhagen but Riou, eleven years before that day, performed a deed, now almost forgotten, which, for unselfish heroism, ranks among the brightest in our brilliant naval annals, and in the sea story of Australia in particular.

In September, 1789, the Guardian , a forty gun ship, under the command of Riou, then a lieutenant, left England for the one year old penal settlement in New South Wales. The little colony was in sore need of food almost starving, in fact and Riou's orders were to make all haste to his destination, calling at the Cape on the way to embark live stock and other supplies. All the ship's guns had been removed to make room for the stores, which included a "plant cabin" a temporary compartment built on deck for the purpose of conveying to Sydney, in pots of earth, trees and plants selected by Sir Joseph Banks as likely to be useful to the young colony making her deck "a complete garden," says a newspaper of the time. Friends of the officers stationed in New South Wales sent on board the Guardian great quantities of private goods, and these were stored in the gun room, which it was thought would be a safer place than the hold, but, as the event proved, it was the most insecure... Continue reading book >>

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