ROGER BROOK

 
Full Name: Roger Brook
Nationality: British
Organization: Prime Minister Agent
Occupation Agent

Creator: Dennis Wheatley
Time Span: 1947 - 1974
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Roger Brook is an agent for the British Prime Minister.
       When first we encounter him, the year is 1783 and young Roger Brook is a 15-year-old student nearing the end of his academic career and facing the probability of being pressed into military service. He is very much against the idea, not because he is afraid or unwilling to do his duty to his country but, as he puts it, he is loath to have to unquestioningly obey those for whom he has little respect and whom he considers many to be dumber than he. In the first pages of the first recorded adventure he is being tormented by the school bully and though he has lost twice in fights with the older, taller, stronger student, Brook is unwilling to step back. He is not foolhardy or stupid - just quite determined.
       That determination/stubbornness will play a major role in his life which will be depicted in 12 lengthy volumes, many of which actually span several years and numerous unrelated adventures. Brook will escape the fate his father, a British Naval Admiral, had decided for him and fled to pre-Revolutionary France where he will find the first of many, many adventures and fall deeply into love on numerous occasions.
       Along the way he will become a most secret and effective agent for the British Prime Minister, William Pitt, and will be sent on numerous occasions into danger to find vital state secrets or to undermine one side in a conflict or bolster another side. He will work diligently to help preserve many of the nobles of France, winning some battles but losing many. He will be instructed to join up with an upstart French military officer named Napoleon Bonaparte and become a major player in that person's actions to better report back to Pitt.
       And he will continue to let his emotions, be it love or lust, dictate many of his actions. Some will cause him great discomfort. Some will bring him increasing success and wealth. All will continue to feed the imagination of the young man in school who really did not like being told what to do.

BOOKS

Number of Books:12
First Appearance:1947
Last Appearance:1974

1 The Launching of Roger Brook The Launching of Roger Brook
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1947

Covers July 1783 - November 1787. A young and restless Roger Brook has just completed his formal schooling and is ready for the real world, unknowing how much more schooling he is in store for. What he will learn soon after he lands in France for his adventure is how much he will fall for both the wicked and desirable Georgina and for Athénais de Rochambeau, yet another gorgeous object of his eyes.

2 The Shadow of Tyburn Tree The Shadow of Tyburn Tree
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1948

Covers November 1787 - April 1789. Working for Prime Minister Pitt, Roger Brook is sent first to Russia. There he is pressed into duty as the latest lover of Catherine the Great. Afterwards, he heads to Sweden to watch that nation's king try to save Gothenberg.

3 The Rising Storm The Rising Storm
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1949

Covers April 1789 - July 1790. Prime Minister Pitt wants Roger Brook to check out the situation at the French court. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette feel all is fine but Brook learns there is great discontent among the common people, when he is not paying attention to the lovely Isabella D'Arana, who is already quite married.

4 The Man Who Killed the King The Man Who Killed the King
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1951

Covers June 1792 - August 1794. The Great Terror is plaguing Paris. Roger Brook is on the scene under Pitt's orders but he puts himself into grave danger as he strives to find a way to save the life of the much hated Marie Antoinette.

5 The Dark Secret of Josephine The Dark Secret of Josephine
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1955

Covers August 1794 - April 1796. Taking a vacation in the West Indies, Roger Brook is determined to spend his time and attention on three different beautiful women. He has not planned on learning deep secrets about Josephine of France and her early days before she met Napoleon.

6 The Rape of Venice The Rape of Venice
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1959

Covers June 1796 - December 1797. In trouble for illegal dueling, Roger Brook sets sail to Calcutta with the beautiful Clarissa. Arriving there, he is stunned when she is suddenly kidnapped by a Venetian nobleman and takes his revenge by joining up with Napoleon who is readying his attack on Venice.

7 The Sultan's Daughter The Sultan's Daughter
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1963

Covers February 1798 - December 1799 - Napoleon's forces are in Egypt trying to get out but Nelson's navy is preventing that. Roger Brook rescues a beautiful daughter of a Sultan from French soldiers about to rape. Then he does pretty much the same himself and she falls in love with him. This love causes her to later save him from certain death.

8 The Wanton Princess The Wanton Princess
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1966

Covers January 1800 - November 1805 - Roger Brook is extremely busy, as always, in this 6-year span. His actions take him back home to England where a duel disrupts his romance, heads to France where he learns enough to hurry to Russia and then to the West Indies, ending back in Spain. Along the way he is asked to help console the bereft sister of Napoleon, a woman known for her beauty and her lust.

9 Evil in a Mask Evil in a Mask
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1969

Covers February 1807 - September 1809 - Napoleon has gone from being a great unifier and champion of France to being a leader consumed with a desire to conquer more, a lust that is bankrupting his country and decimating his army. Roger Brook is there through it all but is constantly distracted by his own urges for the beautiful Lisala de Pumbal.

10 The Ravishing of Lady Mary Ware The Ravishing of Lady Mary Ware
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1971

Covers September 1809 - January 1813. At the beginning of this period, Roger Brook is in Lisbon and has fallen for the lovely Lady Mary Ware. Duty forces him back to France and then on with Napoleon in his campaign to conquer Russia. It was in the latter months of 1812 as the French forces were fleeing the Russian winter that he is reunited with the Lady and the two face a horrible ordeal trying to get home.

11 The Irish Witch The Irish Witch
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1973

Covers 1812 - 1814. The infamous Hellfire Club has been resurrected and the elite of England are happily engaging in all manner of debauchery. Roger Brook might not have taken notice except his young daughter Susan has been chosen as the sacrifice to be made on Walpurgis Night.

12 Desperate Measures Desperate Measures
Written by Dennis Wheatley
Copyright: 1974

Covers 1814 - 1815. Peace has come to Europe and Roger Brook is happy back in England. Now entitled as Lord Kildonan, he is content to spend time with this young wife Mary and also with his mistress, Georgina. As Napoleon makes his comeback to regain power, Brook knows he has to get involved. What he does not know is that a very jealous Mary is plotting to ruin him and kill Georgina.

MY COMMENTS

       I was a big fan of Dennis Wheatley's Duke de Richleau tales and of several of the Gregroy Sallust adventures. I even enjoyed in the early 70s a few of Wheatley's Black Magic tales. So you can see that I have read a good number of the man's writings and have come away usually very favorably.
       That is not the case with the Roger Brook stories, though. I always got the feeling he was a spoiled brat who took what he wanted when he wanted it and if it did not come freely, he pouted. That is just me, of course. And honestly, I did not make it through all of his books. I tried most of them but some of the last half dozen were left with bookmarks halfway in.
       At the time (early 80s for me), I thought that since these latter books were largely written towards the end of his writing life while he was in the 70s, he was a bit too preoccupied with lust and sexual conquest. Now as I write this and I start to approach the age he was, I stand on my earlier thoughts but with perhaps not so much judgment.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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