Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Frank Reade - An Adventure in the Age of Invention - The Last of the Conquerors

There are lot of links in this post. This is a post that I had written some time ago and somehow had forgotten to make the post.

Frank Reade: An Adventure in the Age of Invention is a superb book with many wonderful illustrations, many of them in color. Frank Reade is a fictional character, but the authors of this volume have you wondering is Frank Reade a fictional or a nonfictional character.

Josiah Harlan is reported as being Frank Reade’s favorite historical character and Frank is said to have been inspired by this character. All of the following are real characters from the past and are mentioned briefly in the text.

James Brooke (1803-1868)

James Brooke was a British East India Company mercenary that eventually started his own business. He was made the Rajah of Sarawak, by the Sultan of Brunei, for his part in putting down a rebellion against the Sultan.

Francis Burton (1821-1890)

"Sir Richard Francis Burton was an English geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat." Burton was another former British East India Company mercenary. Sir Francis Burton spoke twenty-nine languages, was a noted fencer and hypnotist.

Josiah Harlan (1799-1871)

Josiah Harlan was another British East India Company mercenary. Harlan was an American adventurer and mercenary who traveled to Afghanistan with the intent on making himself king”. Harlan eventually became the Prince of Ghor and was the inspiration to Rudyard Kipling when writing his “The Man Who Would Be King”.

Percy Fawcett (1867-1925)

Percy Fawcett was one of many who disappeared looking for the famed city of gold El Dorado. Myths still exist about this famed city, but to this day no city of gold has been discovered.

Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902)

Cecil Rhodes was a South Africa mining magnate that amassed more than a half a million square miles of land by obtaining mineral concessions from African Chieftains. After two Matabele wars this area was renamed Rhodesia and now makes up the country of Zambia.

William Walker (1824-1860)

The life of William Walker is an interesting one. I remember doing research and writing a paper on this very flamboyant character while in university. William Walker was an American adventurer, and a filibuster. Filibusters formulate revolutions in order to topple governments. Walker, who briefly installed himself the president of Nicaragua, took part in several attempted revolutions in Central American countries. William Walker was shot by a firing squad for his part of one such attempt in Honduras.

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