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THE ENDURING FLAME (1st edition) - Nigel Tranter

Hardcover book.

Gilded letters on spine.

With dust-jacket (in average condition).

Very good condition.

First edition.





Publishing year: 1957

Pages: 256

Dimensions: 19 X 13


Nigel Tranter OBE (1909 – 2000) was an author who wrote a wide range of books on castles, particularly on themes of architecture and history. He also specialised in deeply researched historical novels that cover centuries of Scottish history.

Nigel Tranter was born in Glasgow and educated at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. He trained as an accountant and worked in Scottish National Insurance Company, founded by his uncle. In 1933, he married May Jean Campbell Grieve and had two children, Frances May and Philip. He joined the Royal Artillery and served in East Anglia in the Second World War.

From childhood onwards, Tranter took a great interest in castles and their associated history. As a result, in 1935, at age 25, he published his first book, The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland. Encouraged by his wife, he wrote his first novel, In Our Arms Our Fortune, which was rejected by the publishers. However, Trespass soon followed and was accepted by The Moray Press. Unfortunately, they went bankrupt soon after its publication in 1937, and he didn't receive any payment. Over the next few years, he wrote several more novels in the same vein: light-hearted romantic adventures in varied settings from modern-day Europe to historical Scotland. Tranter also wrote several westerns under the pseudonym Nye Tredgold to provide additional income for his family, and a dozen children's books -adventure stories aimed at 8- to 10-year-olds.

War service did not stop Tranter writing, and a number of novels were published during the war years, some inspired by his own experiences.[1]

Between 1962 and 1971 Tranter published the landmark series The Fortified House in Scotland (in five volumes). This attempted to cover the history and structure of every primarily domestic castle in Scotland, 663 buildings in all. A small number of non-domestic buildings associated with priories, churches, communal defence etc. etc. were also included. Highly regarded at the time, it is still read by those who have an interest in this specialist area.

While researching the castles, Tranter realised that there were many characters and incidents in Scottish history which could be used as the basis for novels, which he tried to make as accurate as possible – while making no effort to hide his own strong Scottish identity. The Queen's Grace (1953) was his first novel to focus on an historical character (in this case, Mary, Queen of Scots), although it contained a high fictional content. Two trilogies followed: the MacGregor Trilogy (1957–1962) and the Master of Gray Trilogy (1961–1965). By this time, Tranter was well established as a writer of serious historical fiction. The fictional content decreased as he became more experienced, and his later novels were almost entirely composed around the historical record. These novels have gained a wide readership while providing a basic grounding in Scottish history to their readers.


THE ENDURING FLAME: Angus Guthrie, Scottish sailor and undercover oil-prospector, gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to accompany an archaeological expedition into the forbidden heart of the Arabian desert. The group must overcome the suspicions and superstitions of a region untouched by the modern age and unwilling to bow down to it. In the end they turn to a group of outlaws, and in doing so become outlaws themselves. Above all, they must face the gruelling challange of the desert as they traverse a sea of burning sand in search of the legendary lost city of Wabar and the mysterious Enduring Flame of Duweila.