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The Four Feathers | [A. E. W. Mason]

The Four Feathers

Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry Feversham quits the military. He is immediately given four white feathers as symbols of cowardice, one by each of his three best friends and one by his fiancée. To disprove this grave dishonor, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives. Having proven his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancée.
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Publisher's Summary

Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry Feversham quits the military. He is immediately given four white feathers as symbols of cowardice, one by each of his three best friends and one by his fiancée.

To disprove this grave dishonor, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives. Having proven his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancée.

This suspenseful tale movingly depicts a distinctive code of honor that was deeply valued and strongly promoted by the British during the height of their imperial power.

(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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4.0 (117 )
5 star
 (50)
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 (33)
3 star
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1 star
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4.2 (82 )
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4.2 (81 )
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  •  
    Kappavpi 07-05-04
    Kappavpi 07-05-04 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
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    197
    14
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    "Deep Realistic Story Masterfully Read"

    This story is a Victorian Era classic and was published just a year after the passing of that monarch. The story is very realistic, very deep, and keeps you on the edge of suspense. The reader is perfect for the story, not only because of his British accent but his professional reading and differentiation of voices that make your forget that it is one man reading. The story will not disappoint you.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire H. San Francisco 05-09-05
    Claire H. San Francisco 05-09-05 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "So good!"

    Beautiful novel - I had heard this was so much better than the movie, but it far exceeded my expectations. Elegant, but accessible literature. The characters are by far more of the focus than the war. Especially good as an audiobook, which is helped by the great reader.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lloyd mollymook, Australia 07-06-11
    lloyd mollymook, Australia 07-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
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    70
    63
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    Story
    "movie 1939"

    I saw the movie about 1948-9, again in 1979 it was and remains one of my favortites. The book was a shock in that it bore absolutely no relationship to the movie except the characters had the same names and the plot in parts had a simiilar theme, notwithstanding; the use of the language is superb as is the narration.It will remain one of my favorite books

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 10-03-13
    Michael 10-03-13

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprising good and real"

    Okay the language is a little flowery for my liking. Ralph Cosham accent is interesting and adequate. The story could move faster, but I am glad it didn't as it is a book about feelings, ideas, the desert, atonement and honour. These things don't come in 'Boys Own Adventures' and action packed novels and definitely without time to fester. If you die-sect this book you might see the 'Heroes Journey' or basic success through determination but it is more than that. Much of the story is through conversations and the characters thoughts. Much of the story moves not around the central character, Harry but through his love interest and close friends.The book is so much better than any of the movies. Worth the listen to over a summer holiday in your favourite armchair.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-17-10
    11-17-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "FANTASTIC!!!!!"

    Great story, brillliant writing, read by one of the best narrators in the audio book world I give it my highest rating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 05-23-12
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 05-23-12 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "History changes as the facts remain the same."

    This story remains strong although it's a older book. There have been numerous movies of it, which have taken completely different stances about what war is, accomplishes, does and cannot do. But it is still compelling and compellingly told.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Kent Gulfport, MS USA 02-17-15
    Bruce Kent Gulfport, MS USA 02-17-15 Member Since 2006

    chiefkent

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Stiff Upper Lip"

    To be perfectly honest I bought the book on sale because I liked the 1939 movie starring Ralph Richardson. It's a 1902 vintage serialized book written about the Mahdist Wars in the Sudan beginning in 1882 and covering the next 7 years, including the death of Gordon of Khartoum.

    The plot is long and convoluted involving 5 primary male characters, 2 primary female characters and 3 secondary male characters, all of who have some participation in returning the titular 3 small and 1 large white feathers. The white feathers signify that the senders accuse the recipient of cowardice. The majority of the novel is what follows once the feathers are received. If you have seen any of the movies you may have a general idea of what follows, (except the 2002 version which was complete revisionist crap having no relationship to either actual history nor the spirit of the book).

    The book's plots are much more involved and interesting than any of the movies. Still the characters are your standard British upper class stiff upper lip, but - with a touch of humanity. A classic example of popular literature 110 years ago, well done with excellent narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn NEW ULM, MN, United States 01-01-12
    Lyn NEW ULM, MN, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2011

    Mylala

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved"

    I read the story several years ago and then say the movie. Obviously I was disappointed with the movie. Recently saw the movie again and decided to read the book again. What a great book, I love the reader, have listened to him with other books, he is wonderful. I encourage ALL to read or listen to this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Gernantown, TN, United States 05-14-05
    Mark Gernantown, TN, United States 05-14-05 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent"

    A great story well read.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taddea Seattle, WA USA 04-10-15
    Taddea Seattle, WA USA 04-10-15 Member Since 2013

    I don't mind the long commute anymore. Sometimes I even drive around town just to get to place I can stop.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story but lousy reader"

    I love this novel. I read it when I was in high school. I was thrilled to find it on Audible. Unfortunately I am not a fan of Ralph Cosham, the reader. I get so turned off by the stilted accent of the reader that I give up a couple of hours in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    11/8/10
    Overall
    "Excellent book"

    Highly recommended book. A lovely story of redemption, with the hero coming through for the good of the friends who spurned him. A classic adventure in similar vein to 'Beau Geste' that is excellently narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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