His clothes were blood-stained, his shirt in tatters, and in his head there were still the fumes of alcohol. A mist was before his eyes, and it was with difficulty that he read the letter...
The poor, confiding letter touched his heart; he kissed it fervently, and began to weep.
Then he swore he would never drink again; and as the habit had not yet a strong hold on him, it was easily broken.
-from "XIX: Francoise Peyral to Her Son"
Called one of the finest descriptive writers of his day, and certainly one of the most original, French writer and sailor Pierre Loti, traveled the world in the late 19th century and painted what he saw in prose acclaimed as extraordinarily rhythmic and lyrical.
This 1890 work is a fanciful romance about a Frenchman abroad in Africa and the mysterious letter that leads him into idyllic adventure. A lost classic of byronic fiction, this beguiling novel will delight readers seeking a transporting literary experience.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Loti's Egypt.
French writer LOUIS MARIE JULIEN VIAUD (1850-1923), aka Pierre Loti, served in the French navy, his experiences in which were the basis of much of his writing. He is also the author of An Iceland Fisherman, Madame Chrysantheme, and The Story of a Child.