London, Ward, Lock and Bowden. 1896. FIRST EDITION. Octavo. 320pp. Publisher's bottle green cloth titled and decorated in black and red to upper, gilt titles to spine. Lightly rubbed to extremities, otherwise crisp, clean and highly presentable. A collection of tales of bomb-throwing anti-tsarist revolutionaries, anarchists and political corruption, set in the melting pot of late nineteenth century Russia. William Le Queux was obviously not certain that things were about to get worse but as he says in his introduction: 'Revolutionists are the creation of circumstances, of the general discontent of the people...' I always find it comforting that we can learn from the mistakes of previous generations... oh hang on. A splendid book. 'The man who really deserves credit for helping develop the spy novel is William Le Queux, who actually claimed to have been employed as a spy by the British Secret Service, and who is said to have been a pioneer expert in wireless transmission' (Peter Haining). Duckworth Drew, one of Le Queux's espionage heroes, was a direct inspiration for James Bond. Item #41338
Haining; Crime Fiction p.187-189.