Riddle of the Sands

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Erskine Childers 1903
  • Preface
  • The Letter
  • The Dulcibella
  • Davies
  • Retrospect
  • Wanted, a North Wind
  • Schlei Fiord
  • The Missing Page
  • The Theory
  • I Sign Articles
  • His Chance
  • The Pathfinders
  • My Initiation
  • The Meaning of our Work
  • The First Night in the Islands
  • Bensersiel
  • Commander von Bruening
  • Clearing the Air
  • Imperial Escort
  • The Rubicon
  • The Little Drab Book
  • Blindfold to Memmert
  • The Quartette
  • A Change of Tactics
  • Finesse
  • I Double Back
  • The Seven Siels
  • The Luck of the Stowaway
  • We Achieve our Double Aim
  • Epilogue and Postscript
Containing many realistic details based on Childers' own sailing trips along the German North Sea coast, the book is the retelling of a yachting expedition in the early 20th century combined with an adventurous spy story.

It was one of the early invasion novels which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom. It is often called the first modern spy novel, although others are as well, it was certainly very influential in the genre and for its time.

The book enjoyed immense popularity in the years before World War I and was extremely influential. Winston Churchill later credited it as a major reason that the Admiralty decided to establish naval bases at Invergordon, the Firth of Forth and Scapa Flow. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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