The Four Feathers

The Four Feathers

Book - 2001
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Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry Feversham quits the military. He is immediately given four white feathers - symbols of cowardice - one each by his three best friends and one by his fiancee. To disprove this grave dishonour, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives. Having proved his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancee. This suspenseful tale movingly depicts a distinctive code of honour that - whether real or imagined - was deeply valued and strongly promoted by the British during the height of their imperial power.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2001.
ISBN: 9780142180013
Characteristics: xxix, 284 p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Hoppenstand, Gary


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Nov 08, 2014

Along with works by Kipling and Haggard, this is a good example of British Imperialist fiction, a genre that would inspire Americans like Edgar Rice Burroughs ("Tarzan") and the Indiana Jones series. This books were often adventure stories set in various British colonies (India, South Africa, Sudan) that implicitly celebrated British superiority and culture. This was filmed several times and the 1939 film is more engaging than the book, which drags a bit and will bore those who have no taste for English ideas of honor, courage, and stiff up lip-ism.


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