THE NINE-TIGER MAN by Lesley Blanch


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A bauble of a book, this is Lesley Blanch's first novel which features some of the extravagant, exotic enticements one might expect. To be sure the story that it has to tell is a kind of musical comedy operetta, and its star-of-India crossed romance is not to be taken too seriously. Most of it deals with a ""handsome heathen,"" ""the spit of Satan,"" and a great hunter, the Rao Jagnabad. He comes to England in 1856 on a diplomatic mission which fails while he succeeds in mightily impressing the members of the household of the Dowager Viscountess Boxhampton, namely her milky blonde eighteen year old daughter, Florence, and her pert, plump maid, Rosie. Subsequent circumstances take Florence, now dully married, and Rosie to India, plunge them in the middle of the Sepoy mutiny, then deliver them, along with other British ladies, to an island sanctuary (of sorts) where the Rao proves that he is not only a Nine-Tiger Man but equal to all the memsahibs of the empire ..... A fable, which luxuriates in the opulence of its setting, adds a saucy humor and a suggestion of volutte. Decorative, no more.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1965
Publisher: Atheneum