Savile, Frank

Tagged: Author

(1865-1950) UK author who began his writing career under the alias Knarf Elivas (his own names reversed) with John Ship, Mariner (1898), an historical nautical adventure set at the time of the Spanish Armada. His next novel, The Foray of the "Hendrik Hudson" (1898), the first under his own name, is a non-fantasy involving a treasure hunt across Russia and Finland in search of a Viking hoard. This sequence of nautical tales ended in a fully-fledged fantastic adventure, Beyond the Great South Wall [for subtitles see Checklist] (1899), which combines the search for a Mayan Lost World in the Antarctic with the discovery of the extinct Native Americans' polar deity, a brontosaurus (see Dinosaurs) with Hypnotic eyes. Thereafter Savile changed his literary territory for eastern Europe – The Seekers: A Romance of the Balkans (1909) being a Ruritanian romance set in "Montenera" – or Africa. The Desert Venture (1907), the closest Savile returned to the Lost Race theme, features a remote city south of the Sahara inhabited by descendants of the original Berber Moors. His novels are usually classified as boys' adventures, but are generally a cut above that, with a verve and verisimilitude that reflected Savile's own surprisingly active life. Though over age, he served valiantly during the First World War, where he was wounded at Gallipoli, became a Major in the newly formed Tank Battalion, and in later years became an explorer and big-game hunter in Africa. [MA/JC]

Frank Hope Mackenzie Savile

born Matlock, Derbyshire: 14 December 1865

died Camberley, Surrey: 31 July 1950

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