Title: Manuscript of "Secrets I Have Known"
Publisher: c. 1920
Publication Date: 1920
Book Condition: Near Fine
Manuscript on lined paper, bound by a single post at the top corner; 200x255mm; pp. 32, cursive handwriting in purple ink, on the recto only. It begins, "In the course of an erratic & wandering life I have mostly for the purpose of obtaining first hand knowledge of the seamy & more sensational -- of cosmopolitan life been forced to keep queer company in many Continental cities." This cataloguer wonders if this item remained unpublished, or if it's an early draft of "Society Intrigues I Have Known." It may have been published by Odhams in 1920, as a short story. William Le Queux (1864-1927) enjoyed a career spanning decades, with 197 books to his credit, including novels, stories, and non-fiction (though some of his claims regarding his own abilities and exploits were usually exaggerated). He seems to have done everything -- journalist, diplomat, explorer, early pilot, pioneer of radio, and (perhaps) a member of the British Secret Service. He is regarded by many as the originator of the espionage story, and a master storyteller in the genres of mystery, crime, and international intrigue. It's been said that he anticipated almost every development in the genre until the works of Eric Ambler appeared, and that one of Le Queux's heroes, Duckworth Drew, was a direct inspiration for James Bond. Bookseller Inventory # JC11408
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