Author: R.L. Stevenson
Publisher: Dar al Bihar (2001)
Pages: 422 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Bilingual English-Arabic version of the “The Black Arrow”.
Dual language books. The English and Arabic pages are facing each other, matching one-on-one with English on the left page, Arabic on the right page. Easy reference for individuals not strong in one of the languages. Well known fiction titles for different interests and levels.
Description of Book:
In the reign of "old King Henry VI. (1422-1461, 1470-1471) and during the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487) the story begins with the Tunstall Moat House alarm bell being rung to begin mustering troops for its absent lord Sir Daniel Brackley, who intends to join the Battle of Risingham. It is then that the "fellowship" known as "The Black Arrow" headquartered in Tunstall Forest begins to strike with its "four black arrows" for the "four black hearts" of Brackley and three of his retainers: Nicholas Appleyard, Bennet Hatch, and Sir Oliver Oates, the parson. The rhyme that is posted in connection with this attack gets the protagonist Richard Shelton, ward of Sir Daniel, to become curious about the fate of his father Sir Harry Shelton. Having been dispatched to Kettley, where Sir Daniel was quartered, and sent to Tunstall Moat House by return dispatch, he falls in with a fugitive from Sir Daniel, Joanna Sedley, disguised as a boy and going by the alias of John Matcham. She was an heiress kidnapped by Sir Daniel, who wanted to obtain guardianship over her. Coincidentally, Sir Daniel was intending to marry Joanna to Dick himself; and, in her male disguise, Joanna brings up the matter to Dick, affording her the opportunity of feeling him out on the subject. Dick says he is not interested, but he does ask her if his intended bride is good-looking and of pleasant disposition.
While making their way through Tunstall Forest, Joanna tries to persuade Dick to turn against Sir Daniel in sympathy with the Black Arrow outlaws, whose hideout they discover near the ruins of Grimstone manor. The next day they are met in the forest by Sir Daniel himself disguised as a leper and making his way back to the Moat House after his side was defeated at the Battle of Risingham. Dick and Joan then follow Sir Daniel to the Moat House. Here Dick changes sides when he finds out that Sir Daniel is the real murderer of his father and escapes injured from the Moat House. He is rescued by the outlaws of the Black Arrow with whom he throws in his lot for the rest of the story.
The second half of the novel, Books 3-5, tells how Dick rescues his true love Joanna from the clutches of Sir Daniel with the help of both the Black Arrow fellowship and the Yorkist army led by Richard Crookback, the future Richard III of England.
The second half of the narrative centers around Shoreby, where the Lancastrian forces are well entrenched. Robert Louis Stevenson inserts seafaring adventure in chapters 4-6 of Book 3 as Dick and the outlaws steal a ship and attempt a seaside rescue of Joanna, who is being kept in a house by the sea. They are unsuccessful, and after Joanna is moved to Sir Daniel's main quarters in Shoreby, Dick then visits her in the guise of a Franciscan friar, which was a disguise used during the Wars of the Roses. Stevenson, the popularizer of the tales of the Arabian nights, has Dick tell the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in Book 4, chapter 6 to help him escape from the ruined sea captain Arblaster, whose ship Dick and the outlaws had stolen.
Richard Crookback, Duke of Gloucester, makes his appearance in Book 5, with whom Dick keeps his rendezvous. Dick's accurate knowledge of the Lancastrian forces in Shoreby aid Crookback in winning the battle. Dick is also fortunate as a successful commander in this battle. A delighted Crookback accordingly knights Dick, and after the battle gives him 50 horsemen to pursue Sir Daniel, who has escaped Shoreby with Joanna. Dick succeeds in rescuing Joanna, but loses his men in the process. He, Joanna, and Alicia Risingham travel to Holywood where he and Joanna are finally married. In this way he keeps his initial pledge to Joanna to see her safe to Holywood.
Just before the wedding on the outskirts of Holywood Dick encounters a fugitive Sir Daniel, whom he keeps from entering the city and spoiling his wedding. While Sir Daniel slinks away he is shot by the final black arrow from the bow of Ellis Duckworth, who tells Dick, "But be at rest; the Black Arrow flieth nevermore - the fellowship is broken."
Sir Richard and Lady Shelton live in Tunstall Moat House untroubled by the rest of the Wars of the Roses. They provide for both Captain Arblaster and the outlaw Lawless by pensioning them and settling them in Tunstall hamlet. Lawless does a volte face by taking the name of Brother Honestus, a Franciscan friar
These special, condensed novels are intended for English speakers to learn Arabic, by reading side by side versions of these simplified famous novels.