Jimgrim, Moses, and Mrs. Aintree

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Wildside Press, Jan 1, 2008 - Fiction - 132 pages
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Despite the title modification given by Wildside in their ongoing, random reprints of some of the early novels by Talbot Mundy, this book is not about the character Jimgrim. Originally published in the September 10, 1922 issue of Adventure magazine, Moses and Mrs. Aintree was an odd asterisk in the series, since the only regulars actually appearing are Meldrum Strange and Jeff Ramsden. All of the action centers around Ramsden's experiences on a trip to the American west, taking him from New York, to Appleton, West Virginia, to Sparks, Nevada, climaxing at Lake Tahoe, revealing the western trip Mundy was already planning himself and which he undertook shortly thereafter. The plot concerns the discovery of a set of 32 gold plates depicting the initiates and teaching of an occult group of which the Biblical Moses was a member. Moses is actually pictured on one of the plates, and his portrait is clearly not by an Egyptian artist, with its compassionate humanity revealing the skill of an Indian hand. Below it is writing in Sanskrit, with a Rig Veda hymn altered to incorporate parts of the book of Genesis, proving that all known religion had its origin in India. Moses and Mrs. Aintree seems to be a composite of two elements. One was along the lines of the popular storyline of the supposed evils of Mormonism, a vein in popular culture best remembered today through Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet. Second, Mundy seems to have been responding with dismay to a revival meeting sponsored by one of Marcus Garvey's "back to Africa" crusades. The ultimate villain in Moses and Mrs. Aintree is an Indian, and in all respects, Moses and Mrs. Aintree embodies beliefs about race, women, and occult teaching that make it the direct opposite of a typical Mundy story.

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About the author (2008)

Talbot Mundy (born William Lancaster Gribbon) (April 23, 1879 - August 5, 1940) was an English writer. He also wrote under the pseudonym Walter Galt. Born in London, at age 16 he ran away from home and began an odyssey in India, Africa, and other parts of the Near and Far East. By age 29, he had begun using the name Talbot Mundy, and a year later arrived in the United States, starting his writing career in 1911. His novel King of the Khyber Rifles is set in India under British Occupation. The long buildup to the introduction to Yasmini and the scenes among the outlaws in the Khinjan Caves clearly influenced fantasy writers Robert E. Howard and Leigh Brackett. His related Jim Grim series, which has mystical overtones and part of which is available over the web from theosophical sites, ran in Adventure magazine before book publication. Mundy was associated with Theosophy's movement and helped popularize the legend of the Nine Unknown Men in the West. He wrote many other books and stories, including Hira Singh and a number of stories about Tros of Samothrace, a Greek freedom fighter who aided Britons and Druids in their fight against Julius Caesar.

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