Post Haste

Af: R. M. Ballantyne



First published in 1880 ‘Post Haste’ is a fascinating story by prolific children's author R.M. Ballantyne, set during the early days of the general post office. Still in its infancy, sending a letter through the post office was not yet a guarantee of its’ safe arrival. When several highly sensitive and important letters to the same addressee all go missing however, is there more to it than meets the eye? Philip and his sister Mary Maylands, along with their friend George Aspel are soon on the case, as they attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery. R.M. Ballantyne (1825-1894) was a Scottish artist and prolific author of mostly children’s fiction. Born in Edinburgh, Ballantyne was the ninth of ten children. At the age of 16 Ballantyne moved to Canada, where he worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, travelling all over the country to trade for fur. He returned to Scotland in 1847 following the death of his father, and it was then that he began his literary career in earnest, writing over 100 children’s adventure books over the course of his life. Stories such as ‘The Coral Island’ and ‘The Young Fur Traders’ were hugely popular, and many of them drew on his own experiences of travelling throughout Canada. A stickler for detail, Ballantyne continued to travel widely to research the backgrounds and settings for his exciting stories. His tales became an inspiration for authors of the future, including ‘Treasure Island’ novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. Ballantyne spent the latter period of his life living in London and Italy for the sake of his health. He died in Rome in 1894 at the age of 68.

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