Tros of Samothrace

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Tros of Samothrace
Tros of samothrace.jpg
Picture of dust-cover from the first edition.
AuthorTalbot Mundy
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesTros
GenreFantasy
PublisherAppleton-Century
Publication date
1934
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages949
OCLC592466
Followed byQueen Cleopatra 

Tros of Samothrace is a fantasy historical novel by American writer Talbot Mundy. The story was composed of several novellas which were published originally in the American magazine Adventure during 1925 and 1926. It was published first together as a book during 1934 by Appleton-Century company.

Mundy dedicated Tros of Samothrace to his friend Rose Wilder Lane, who had funded its book publication. [1]

Plot introduction[edit]

The novel concerns the courageous adventures of the title character as he helps pre-Roman Britons fight the invading forces of Julius Caesar.

Publishing history[edit]

The original sequence of novellas was published as follows:

  • 1. "Tros of Samothrace", 10 February 1925 (later became chapters 1..14 of the novel)
  • 2. "The Enemy of Rome", 10 April 1925 (chapters 15..26)
  • 3. "Prisoners of War", 10 June 1925 (chapters 27..37)
  • 4. "Hostages to Luck", 20 August 1925 (chapters 38..51)
  • 5. "Admiral of Caesar's Fleet", 10 October 1925 (chapters 52..66)
  • 6. "The Dancing Girl of Gades", 10 December 1925 (chapters 67..81)
  • 7. "Messenger of Destiny", part 1, 10 February 1926 (chapters 82..87)
  • 8. "Messenger of Destiny", part 2, 20 February 1926 (chapters 88..92)
  • 9. "Messenger of Destiny", part 3, 28 February 1926 (chapters 93..96) [2]

When Tros of Samothrace was published as four paperback volumes during 1967 and 1971, the divisions between volumes coincided with Mundy's own divisions:

  • Tros contains "Tros of Samothrace" and "The Enemy of Rome".
  • Helma contains "Prisoners of War" and "Hostages to Luck".
  • Liafail contains "Admiral of Caesar's Fleet" and "The Dancing Girl of Gades".
  • Helene contains all three parts of "Messenger of Destiny".

When Tros of Samothrace was reissued as three paperback volumes during 1976, the divisions between volumes was partway through "Prisoners of War" and "Admiral of Caesar's Fleet".

Reception[edit]

Although the stories were popular with Adventure's readers, they also aroused debate due to the fact that Mundy described Julius Caesar and Roman civilization as imperialistic and tyrannical; Adventure editor Arthur Sullivant Hoffman later stated that the Tros stories were the most controversial the magazine had ever published.[3] Mundy's negative depiction of Caesar resulted in controversy in Adventure's letters section, "the Camp-Fire".[4]

Fritz Leiber praised Tros of Samothrace, saying: "The Tros stories made a great impression on me as a young man. I read and re-read them...it was wonderful, imaginative writing".[4] Floyd C. Gale wrote during 1959 when reviewing a new edition of the book that it was "Out of print far too long, here is one classic that still reads as if written yesterday ... An absolute Must Buy at this price".[5]

Picture of dust-cover by Lionel Dillon from the Gnome Press reprint.

References[edit]

  • Chalker, Jack L.; Mark Owings (1998). The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, 1923–1998. Westminster, MD and Baltimore: Mirage Press, Ltd.
  • Clute, John; John Grant (1997). The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-88184-708-9.
  • Tuck, Donald H. (1978). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. pp. 323–324. ISBN 0-911682-22-8.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ William Holtz, The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane. University of Missouri Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8262-1015-5. (p.253)
  2. ^ Brian Taves, Talbot Mundy, Philosopher of Adventure, McFarland, 2006 ISBN 0-7864-2234-3 (pg. 288).
  3. ^ Donald M. Grant, Talbot Mundy: Messenger of Destiny. Donald M. Grant publishers, 1983. ISBN 978-0-937986-46-2 (p. 152).
  4. ^ a b Lee Server, Danger is my business: an illustrated history of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines. Chronicle Books, 1993. ISBN 0-8118-0112-8 (pp. 55–6)
  5. ^ Gale, Floyd C. (August 1959). "Galaxy's 5 Star Star Shelf". Galaxy. pp. 138–142. Retrieved 14 June 2014.