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JOHN PENDRAGON

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Full Name: John Harkdale Pendragon
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Trevelyan
Time Span: 1975 - 1979

ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Hawkdale Pendragon is an agent with British Intelligence.
       The period of time is the 1850's during the reign of Queen Victoria
       The following is a quick backstory about Pendragon that was given.

       "John Hawkdale Pendragon was one of the few British officers who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade. The waste, the stupidity of it did nothing to dim his military enthusiasm, but his leg wound did; the surgeon told him he'd never ride again. No more the flashing sabre, no more the crash and thunder of the charge...
       "Pendragon confounded the surgeon, but he never again went to war.
       "He was still only twenty-six when he was invalided home to England, and he came back a hero; tall, handsome, with a slight limp, one of Cardigan's young lions, a member of a band of men whose courage had fired the imagination of the country. His entry into London society was assured; his beautiful Aunt Georgina's house in Park Lane gave him all the benefits and comforts of a gilded age of leisure.
       "It was not leisure that Pendragon wanted; as his leg healed and his health returned he ached for action and adventure.
       "Such was the young man discovered by the War Minister, Sidney Herbert. It was a critical time for both of them. One was disillusioned, listless with inactivity; the Minister was looking for someone to replace his principal secret agent who had just been found dead in a dockside warehouse - in the middle of an investigation into smuggling that threatened to turn into something much larger. A question, indeed, of the national security of a country insecure in Europe and fighting a war in the Crimea."

       The adventures begin with Pendragon's ordeal during that famous Charge and follow him during his return to England and recovery and then his entry into the clandestine world once his military career is abruptly ended. It also follows the relationships that Pendragon maintains with both high born people and commoners.

BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1979

       I have seen a couple of references to another a fifth book, Pendragon, the Illusionist, attributed to the author. However, I have found no real evidence of the book. Also leaning against the existence of this other title is a) the author's own website listing all the books written by the man under different pseudonyms list the four below and not this fifth one, and b) the four have been recently released in ebook format using the umbrella title of the Pendragon Quartet.


1 Pendragon, Late of Prince Albert's Own Pendragon, Late of Prince Albert's Own
Written by Robert Trevelyan
Copyright: 1975

One of the very few survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade, John Pendragon was told by doctors that his serious leg wound would mean he would never ride again. He decided on another career when the head of British Intelligence asked him to replace a recently murdered agent. That man had been looking into a smuggling matter that portended something much darker for England's future.
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2 His Highness Commands Pendragon His Highness Commands Pendragon
Written by Robert Trevelyan
Copyright: 1976

Relaxing on his estate, John Pendragon is summoned by his boss at British Intelligence to assist in a new mission. Word has come from Prussian Intelligence that there is a plot afoot to assassinate Prince Albert, the Queen's Consort.
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3 Pendragon - The Montenegran Plot Pendragon - The Montenegran Plot
Written by Robert Trevelyan
Copyright: 1977

The King of Montenegro is on a state visit to England. Also in London is his bastard half-brother, James Krakar, a known anarchist and one very much wanting his illustrious sibling eliminated. John Pendragon is assigned the job of stopping the plot and he will be assisted by several different people, including a blind prostitute.
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4 Pendragon - Seeds of Mutiny Pendragon - Seeds of Mutiny
Written by Robert Trevelyan
Copyright: 1979

John Pendragon's much admired Aunt Georgina is about to marry Sir Page Cloverly in the social wedding of the season. Then the groom is murdered by a dark-skinned assassin outside the church. This is the first of several vicious attacks which look unrelated except for the similarities. Pendragon is set upon the trail.
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MY COMMENTS

       The normal worries starting a new series include will it be boring, will it be believable, and will the main character be interesting. Oh, yes, there are lots more but those are high up there. In answer to these, no - yes - oh, yes. The Pendragon saga is not boring in the least. It is so realistic I feel like I have to scrape my boots every time he walks in the streets and alleyways where the horse carts are common. And Pendragon is a hoot to follow.
       One thing I loved about him is that when he is first asked to be an operative, he is eager and very gung-ho as well as being quite intelligent and possessing a good amount of common sense. What he is not is experienced so he makes some very understandable mistakes, some of which result in his being injured or shamed. Each time this happens, you can follow his sequence of thinking and learning and you get the idea he is not likely to make the same oops twice.
       The writing is exquisite. So well done and captivating. And the author was nice enough to not just rely on Pendragon; he gives us a pretty interesting array of other people that make reading these stories enjoyable.

GRADE

My Grade: A

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