The Riddle of the Sands

Front Cover
A&C Black, Jul 15, 2010 - Fiction - 288 pages

Described by Ken Follett as "the first modern thriller", The Riddle of the Sands is the best-known sailing narrative and a true classic. It was recently ranked 37th in The Observer's list of the 100 Greatest Novels of the past 300 years. Winston Churchill even credited it for the Admiralty's decision to build naval bases in Scapa Flow, Invergordon and Rosyth.

Following in the adventurous tradition of H Rider Haggard, and being a clear influence on the espionage tales of John Buchan, Ian Fleming and John le Carré, The Riddle of the Sands tells the story of two young men on a sailing trip to the islands off the Dutch coast who discover a secret German naval base, and an enemy armada preparing to invade England.

With its prescient plotline and patriotic call for the nation to prepare against its foreign foes, The Riddle of the Sands has remained enduringly popular ever since it was first published in 1903. This new edition includes detailed maps of the Dutch coastline and evocative black and white photographs of some of the places Carruthers and Davies visit.

This is an enduring classic, loved by sailors and non-sailors alike, and its new illustrative material will be welcomed by readers following the storyline.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
11
3 stars
6
2 stars
2
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EadieB - LibraryThing

Set before World War I, this enthralling novel pitches two amateur sailors, Davies and Carruthers, against the secret forces of mighty Germany. Powers of deduction and navigational skills prove ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - k6gst - LibraryThing

One of the very first spy thrillers. Two English yachtsmen sailing around the Frisian Islands discover a German treasure salvage operation that might be a cover for something more nefarious. They make ... Read full review

Contents

1 The Letter
1
2 The Dulcibella
7
3 Davies
18
4 Retrospect
27
5 Wanted a North Wind
34
6 Schlei Fiord
41
7 The Missing Page
47
8 The Theory
58
17 Clearing the Air
137
18 Imperial Escort
147
19 The Rubicon
152
20 The Little Drab Book
163
21 Blindfold to Memmert
173
22 The Quartette
185
23 A Change of Tactics
195
24 Finesse
207

9 I Sign Articles
68
10 His Chance
76
11 The Pathfinders
83
12 My Initiation
90
13 The Meaning of our Work
99
14 The First Night in the Islands
104
15 Bensersiel
119
16 Commander von Brüning
125
25 I Double Back
220
26 The Seven Siels
230
27 The Luck of the Stowaway
240
28 We Achieve our Double Aim
252
Epilogue
261
Postscript March 1903
270
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Robert Erskine Childers took up sailing when a sciatic injury prevented him from taking part in many sporting activities. He served in the Boer War, later becoming vocally critical of how British troops were treated by their commanding officers. During the Irish Civil War of 1922-3 he joined the Republican army and was arrested and subsequently shot. The Riddle of the Sands is his most famous book, written in 1903.

Bibliographic information