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GREY SHADOW

grey_shadow_bk_soasa_06 modernboy_360 modernboy_211 modernboy_364 modernboy_215 grey_shadow_bk_soasa_01 modernboy_220 grey_shadow_bk_soasa_07 modernboy_214 grey_shadow_bk_gsp grey_shadow_bk_soasa_02 modernboy_216 grey_shadow_bk_trogs modernboy_358 modernboy_359 grey_shadow_bk_soasa_04 modernboy_219 modernboy_217 modernboy_361 grey_shadow_bk_tms grey_shadow_bk_tgs modernboy_213 grey_shadow_bk_soasa_03 modernboy_218 grey_shadow_bk_soasa_05
 
Full Name: Guy Ellis
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: George E. Rochester
Time Span: 1932 - 1941

ABOUT THE SERIES

Guy Ellis, aka Grey Shadow, is an agent with British Secret Service.

The period of time this renowned English operative has his adventures recorded for us to read many years later is during the Great War, that horrific conflict which spanned four years and three months and two weeks. It is during this period that a British Army officer with the rank of Captain named Guy Ellis would, for reasons known only to himself, decide to not only become intimately involved in espionage work against Germany.

It is interesting to point out here that the sobriquet by which Ellis is far better known than his own surname is never used with a definite article; there is no reference to 'the Grey Shadow' throughout his many exploits leaving him only called 'Grey Shadow' as though it were a name itself. This is by not only those who speak of him in these tales but also by the tales' chronicler. It does, however, appear in blurbs seen in newspapers but those are hardly official.

In one of those blurbs (Linwood Library Gazette), though, comes a terrific description of the career that Ellis/Grey Shadow enjoyed: "his marvelous elusion of the net spread for him and his secret entrances not only into Germany, but into Germany's secret places, earned him the title 'The Grey Shadow". A clever air pilot. The Grey Shadow sends home information of enemy aerodromes and organizes the escape of British prisoners of war." He does a fair amount more, of course, but it does show how impressive the man was.

Impressive is not a word the German High Command would use for Grey Shadow but then again I would not print the words they would use. They also offered to use 50,000 marks (not sure what the equivalency is today but they make it sound like a lot!) for his capture. Reading the exploits of this operative and knowing that by the time these took place, he had been in action for quite some time, it is easy to see why they would offer what they indicate is a considerable sum to get someone - anyone - to turn him in.

After some time has passed, Ellis/Grey Shadow will be joined in his activities with a younger fellow named Peter. Together they will be referred to as "two of the most brilliant spies in the British Secret Service". Peter is described as a 'lad' at numerous spots so it is likely to assume that he is a teenager.

Good Lines:
- Said by a German citizen to a friend in protest, "The newspapers do not lie! Why should they?"

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1934
Last Appearance:1939

Each of the four books listed below were published by Amalgamated Press in a tall paperback format as part of its Boy's Friend Library series. Two of them, the first and last of these four, were subsequently published in hardback format some years later.


1 The Grey Shadow The Grey Shadow
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1934

A collection of 11 stories originally published in Modern Boy magazine in 1932, #210-220. A subset of the first 8 was contained in the Boy's Friend Library series, #417, February 1934.
The stories are:
Grey Shadow
Grey Shadow’S Joke
The Lathe Hand
Barbed Wire
The Way Of A Spy
Grey Shadow’S Raid
Capture Of Grey Shadow!
The Bust Of Putz!
Wings Of The Night
The Master Spy!
Grey Shadow On The Run!

2 The Master Spy The Master Spy
aka Grey Shadow - Master Spy
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1935

Published in the Boy's Friend Library series, #494, September 1935. Originally serialized in 10 consecutive issues of Modern Boy magazine, #302 - #311, in 1933-34.
[plot unknown]

3 Grey Shadow's Partner Grey Shadow's Partner
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1937

Published in the Boy's Friend Library series, #586, August 1937. Likely originally serialized in 9 consecutive issues of Modern Boy magazine, #251 - #259, in 1932-33.
[plot unknown]

4 Spies Of The Western Front Spies Of The Western Front
aka The Return of Grey Shadow
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1939

Published in the Boy's Friend Library series, #661, March 1939. Originally serialized in 11 consecutive issues of Modern Boy magazine, Vol.2 #23 - #33, in 1938. Subsequently released in hardback as The Return of Grey Shadow in 1949.
Captain John Scott (Scotty to his friends), youngest member of the elite Secret Squadron of British pilots operating behind enemy lines in WWI, is sent to Hamburg to assist an ailing undercover agent. In fact the agent has been arrested and is scheduled to be executed. Scotty learns this when he is joined by Grey Shadow and a young woman helping him to first free the agent and then complete the man's mission.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:11
First Appearance:1932
Last Appearance:1941

1 Grey Shadow Grey Shadow
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #210, February 13, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
Near pandemonium, not to mention considerable fear and trembling, occurs when it is reported that Grey Shadow was rumored to be in Wilhelmshaven trying to make his way out of Germany with a huge effort underway by the German High Command to capture him.

2 Grey Shadow's Joke Grey Shadow's Joke
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #211, February 20, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
Von Orzt is a captain in the Germany Air Force and a man quite full of himself. So thinks those having to put up with him when his planes makes an emergency landing at a German Air Base. That then makes it quite interesting when it is learned the same von Orzt was recently killed in air combat over England.

3 The Lathe Hand The Lathe Hand
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #212, February 27, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
German Intelligence is convinced a man named Fischer, working the lathe in one of the shops in a major German factory, is really an English spy. They do not suspect him of being Grey Shadow but they are certain they can use him as bait to draw the real Grey Shadow into a trap.

4 Barbed Wire Barbed Wire
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #213, March 5, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
Held in a POW camp in Germany is an English pilot named Heathcote. The vital mission of Grey Shadow is to get the man out and back to England as he is the only one who might be able to provide the formula for a new explosive that his now deceased uncle had perfected. To get him free, Grey Shadow must get himself imprisoned.

5 The Way Of A Spy The Way Of A Spy
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #214, March 12, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

6 Grey Shadow's Raid Grey Shadow's Raid
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #215, March 19, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

7 Capture Of Grey Shadow! Capture Of Grey Shadow!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #216, March 26, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

8 The Bust Of Putz! The Bust Of Putz!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #217, April 2, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

9 Wings Of The Night Wings Of The Night
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #218, April 9, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

10 The Master Spy! The Master Spy!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #219, April 16, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

11 Grey Shadow On The Run! Grey Shadow On The Run!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1932

Published in Modern Boy #220, April 23, 1932. Collected in The Grey Shadow.
[plot unknown]

12 Peter's Peril! Peter's Peril!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1934

Published in Modern Boy #325, April 18, 1934.
[plot unknown]

13 Peter The Wolf! Peter The Wolf!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1934

Published in Modern Boy #358, December 15, 1934.
[plot unknown]

14 The Secret Of The Wireless Spy! The Secret Of The Wireless Spy!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1934

Published in Modern Boy #359, December 22, 1934.
[plot unknown]

15 Grey Shadow's Trap! Grey Shadow's Trap!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1934

Published in Modern Boy #360, December 29, 1934.
[plot unknown]

16 Grey Shadow And The Red Flag! Grey Shadow And The Red Flag!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1935

Published in Modern Boy #361, January 5, 1935.
[plot unknown]

17 The Green Rocket! The Green Rocket!
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1935

Published in Modern Boy #364, January 26, 1935.
[plot unknown]

18 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #1 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #1
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #359, January 6, 1940.
[plot unknown]

19 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #2 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #2
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1941

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #360, January 13, 1940.
[plot unknown]

20 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #3 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #3
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #361, January 20, 1940.
[plot unknown]

21 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #4 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #4
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #362, January 27, 1940.
[plot unknown]

22 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #5 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #5
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #363, February 3, 1940.
[plot unknown]

23 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #6 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #6
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #364, February 10, 1940.
[plot unknown]

24 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #7 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #7
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #365, February 17, 1940.
[plot unknown]

25 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #8 Stories Of A Secret Agent - #8
Written by George E. Rochester
Copyright: 1940

Actual title unknown. Published in Detective Weekly #366, February 24, 1940.
[plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

From what I read, this series, designed specifically for male teens back in the 30s, was also enjoyed by men of considerably older ages. I enjoyed it myself, for a while. The stories were best enjoyed in smaller amounts, as in a novella every week. I should have done the same because too much Grey Shadow made me less interested in, well, Grey Shadow.

Having said that, if I were a teenager in, say, 1932, and had the few pence asked for the magazine, I absolutely would have put my money down and then devoured not only the Grey Shadow story inside, but likely everything else.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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