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1. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010)

1. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010)

Burton & Swinburne series by Mark Hodder

NEXT: The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats #6 (Hard Cover) — August 13th 2015

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Steampunk / Urban Fantasy / Altenate History

Series Description Edit

✤ Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king's agent, and his somewhat erratic assistant, the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne, inhabit a world that isn't as it should be. Technology is out of control, distorting the British Empire's cultural landscape almost beyond recognition, and other, rather more surprising forces are attempting to manipulate history. Together, Burton and Swinburne must battle to save the present... from the future! The adventures of Burton & Swinburne are presented by Mark Hodder, a British author who lives in Valencia, Spain. ~ Goodreads

✥ A time-traveller from the distant future returns to 1840 to prevent an ancestor from attempting to commit an act of regicide. After failing in his mission, he returns to 1837 and recruits the 'Mad Marquess' to find his ancestor and correct the error. The result of his interference is an altered timeline in which technological advances have given rise to two scientific classes: 'Technologists' and 'Eugenicists'. Sir Richard Francis Burton returns to find his reputation damaged and his second-in-command lionized as the discoverer of the source of the Nile. He is recruited by the Prime Minister, in the capacity of King's Agent, to investigate the Spring-heeled Jack affair and the strange manifestations plaguing London's East End. ~ Wikipedia

Lead's Species Edit

  • Time traveller, human, King's agent

Primary Supe Edit

  • Time-travel, clockwork men

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • Steam punk with some UF supernatural elements 

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • Third person narrative mainly from the perspective of Sir Richard Francis Burton, protagonist.

Books in Series Edit

Burton & Swinburne series:

  1. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010)
  2. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (2011)
  3. Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (2012)
  4. The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Aug 8, 2013)
  5. The Return of the Discontinued Man (July, 2014)
  6. The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (August 13th 2015) ~ Final

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Set in 1861 in an Victorian Albertian England

Places:

  • Trafalgar Square
  • Cannibal Club
  • London's East End
  • South Africa
  • England
  • Damascus
  • Scotland Yard
  • Waterford
  • India
  • Berbera
  • Limehouse
  • Lambeth
  • Arabia
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Old Ford
  • Victoria
  • Oxford Street
  • Hertford
  • Aldershot
  • Sangappa

Supernatural Elements Edit

Time travel, loup-garous, werewolves, apparitions, Rakes, clockwork-powered man of brass, magic, magic drugs, ,

Glossary:Edit

  • Lemurian Eye of Naga: meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times
  • Garnier Collection—black diamonds: rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga
  • Rakes: A radical, extreme group of men who divided from the Libertines. Anarchist. Nihilist. They claim that all moral codes and social conventions are entirely artificial and that by following them a man is willingly allowing his authentic identity to be suppressed.
  • Atmospheric Railway: It used wide-gauge tracks in the centre of which ran a fifteen-inch-diameter pipe. Along the top of the pipe there was a two-inch slot, covered with a flapvalve of oxhide leather. Beneath the front carriage of each train hung a dumbbell-shaped piston, which fitted snugly into the pipe. Every three miles along the track, a station sucked air out of the pipe in front of the train and pumped it back in behind. It was this difference in air pressure that shot the carriages along the tracks at tremendous speed.
  • Postal Dog Runners: They were part of a fairly new communications system, these remarkable dogs, the first practical application of eugenics adopted by the British public. Each hound came into the world knowing every address within a fifty-mile radius of its birthplace and with the ability to carry mail between those locations, barking and scratching at a recipient's door until the letter was collected. After each task was completed, the runner would wander the streets until it heard another three-whistle summons.
  • Velocipede: Steam-driven, one-man vehicles. It could complete a twenty-mile journey in about an hour on just one fist-sized lump of coal.
  • Litter-crab: An automated steam powered, street cleaner. With eight thick mechanical legs and twenty-four thin arms on its belly snatching up rubbish and throwing it through the machine's maw into the furnace within.
  • Mega Dray: Product of Eugenics. Gigantic beasts that stood fifteen feet high at the shoulder and were immensely strong. The cargo wagons they towed were often the size of small houses.

Shelfari

TechnologiesEdit

  • Time-Travel: Achieved through a 'fish-scale' solar battery suit, propelled by hydraulic spring-loaded stilts and powered by a mysterious diamond.
  • Steam-power: Steam-propelled machinery is ubiquitous and powers an entire range of devices from mechanical horse-drawn carriages to single-person flying devices.
  • Genetic Modification: The 'Eugenicist' class in this alternate history have succeeded in creating over-sized animals and modifying existing flora and fauna for the purposes of serving civilisation.

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Technologists:
  • Libertines:
  • Rakes: A radical, extreme group of men who divided from the Libertines. Anarchist. Nihilist. They claim that all moral codes and social conventions are entirely artificial and that by following them a man is willingly allowing his authentic identity to be suppressed.
  • Eugenicists:

World Edit

Sir Richard Francis Burton and Algernon Charles Swinburne stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London's East End. ~ abcreads

✥ A debate between Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke scheduled in our world for 1864 is scheduled for three years earlier in the alternative Hodder has created. While seemingly minor, that change is indicative of greater changes which slowly become evident. After the night Burton was supposed to debut Speke, which appears to have ended in the same way it does in our own world, Burton finds himself offered the position of an agent for the Crown, essentially given carte blanche to investigate what he sees fit. And what he finds himself investigating is a series of disappearances of chimney sweeps which appear to be tied into the presence of werewolves in London.

The werewolves of London, however, are only a small part of this different world, which is filled with factions trying to pull the world from the eighteenth into the twentieth century. The Rakes and the Libertines are trying to impose their own version of morality and art on Great Britain, while the technologists see the potential in science, from the genetic and evolutionary ideas of Mendel and Darwin to the engineering feats of Brunel, as the way to rise above the short, brutal existence of humans. ~ Steven Silver reviews~sfsite.com

Protagonists Edit

Sir Richard Francis Burton: Celebrated adventurer, linguist, scholar, orientalist, swordsman, and former Captain in the Royal African Corps. While he and Speke were the first Europeans to view the African Great Lakes, they quarreled over which one was the source of the Nile. Although Burton had headed the expedition, Speke returned to London first and presented his conclusions, which were accepted. Burton was cast into a secondary role and his career as an explorer was tarnished. ~ Wikipedia

Algernon Charles Swinburne: unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade; for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!

Sidekick Edit

  • Algernon Charles Swinburne / What: Libertine (human) / Sidekick-to: Sir Richard Francis Burton / About: poet & novelist / Book First Seen: The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010)

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Sir Richard Francis Burton king’s agent one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended;
Algernon Charles Swinburne wayward poet A celebrated poet and novelist closely associated with the Libertine movement of the 19th Century.
Charles Babbage British mathematician had a concept for a calculating machine
William Trounce Detective Inspector Burton's closest contact at Scotland Yard
Commander Krishnamurthy army comander British
Admiral Lord Nelson "Clockwork Man" The clockwork man of the title
Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate the apparition Spring Heeled Jack, and terrorizing werewolves;
Spring Heeled Jack weird apparition committed assaults on young women; head glows and is able to leap enormous distances and disappears.
Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford 'Mad Marquess' founder of the Libertine movement; notorious rake of the era, and the central suspect in the Spring-Heeled Jack attacks
Edward Oxford Would-be assassin Would-be assassin of Queen Victoria in 1840. Tried for high treason at the Old Bailey and acquitted due to insanity.
Constable Bhatti beat cop young member of Scotland Yard; has a Technologist's leaning;
Herbert Spencer philosopher. Homeless
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Leader of the Technologists; engineer English; extended his life in a steampunk-mobile iron lung;

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.

Author Edit

Mark Hodder

Bio: British writer living in Valencia, Spain. Mark Hodder is the creator and caretaker of the Blakiana: The Sexton Blake Resource web site, which he designed to celebrate, record, and revive Sexton Blake, the most written about fictional detective in English publishing history. A former BBC writer, editor, journalist, and Web producer . . . I spent a lot of my life not being a novelist. I wasn't one during my teens, when I was reading Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Mike Moorcock, Fritz Leiber, etc. Nor was I one in my 20s, when I read Dickens and Thackery and H. G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In my 30s, I moved on to modern literary greats for a while before happily drifting back to sci-fi and fantasy and horror. I still wasn't a novelist. Then along came my 40s and finally I thought to myself: "You've wanted to write novels since you were 11; you'll never do it until you actually sit down and start writing!" So that's what I did. ~Goodreads | Mark Hodder (Author of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack)

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Jon Sullivan — Source: Burton & Swinburne - Series Bibliography

Awards Edit

Publishing InformationEdit

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010): London, 1861. Sir Richard Francis Burton—explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne—unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade; for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin!

They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London's East End. Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn't exist at all! ~ Goodreads | The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne, #1) by Mark Hodder

BOOK TWO BLURB—The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (2011): It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be. . . . Time has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king’s agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended.

When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection—black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times. His investigation leads to involvement with the media sensation of the age: the Tichborne Claimant, a man who insists that he’s the long lost heir to the cursed Tichborne estate. Monstrous, bloated, and monosyllabic, he’s not the aristocratic Sir Roger Tichborne known to everyone, yet the working classes come out in force to support him. They are soon rioting through the streets of London, as mysterious steam wraiths incite all-out class warfare.

From a haunted mansion to the Bedlam madhouse, from South America to Australia, from séances to a secret labyrinth, Burton struggles with shadowy opponents and his own inner demons, meeting along the way the philosopher Herbert Spencer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Doyle (father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). Can the king’s agent expose a plot that threatens to rip the British Empire apart, leading to an international conflict the like of which the world has never seen? And what part does the clockwork man have to play? Burton and Swinburne’s second adventure—The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man—is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and a deepening mystery that pushes forward the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack. ~ Goodreads | The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (Burton & Swinburne, #2) by Mark Hodder

BOOK THREE BLURB—'Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (2012): It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and now the first moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war and the fall of the British Empire. Caught in a tangled web of cause, effect, and inevitability, little does Burton realize that the stakes are far higher than even he suspects. A final confrontation comes in the mist-shrouded Mountains of the Moon, in war-torn Africa of 1914, and in Green Park, London, where, in the year 1840, Burton must face the man responsible for altering time: Spring Heeled Jack! Burton and Swinburne's third adventure is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and bizarre events, completing the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man. ~ Goodreads | Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (Burton & Swinburne, #3) by Mark Hodder

BOOK FOUR BLURB—'The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Aug 8, 2013): Burton & Swinburne return in a new series! The Beast is coming. History will be remade. Since the assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840, a cabal of prominent men-including King George V, HRH Prince Albert, Benjamin Disraeli, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel-has received guidance from the Afterlife. The spirit of a dead mystic, Abdu El Yezdi, has helped them to steer the empire into a period of unprecedented peace and creativity. But on the eve of a groundbreaking alliance with the newly formed Greater German Confederation, scientists, surgeons, and engineers are being abducted-including Brunel! The government, in search of answers, turns to the Afterlife, only to find that Abdu El Yezdi is now refusing to speak with the living. Enter the newly-knighted Sir Richard Francis Burton, fresh from his discovery of the source of the Nile. Appointed the king's agent, he must trace the missing luminaries and solve the mystery of Abdu El Yezdi's silence. But the Beast has been summoned. How can the famous explorer fulfill his mission when his friends and loved ones are being picked off, one by one, by what appears to be a supernatural entity-by, perhaps, Abdu El Yezdi himself? ~ Goodreads | The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Burton & Swinburne, #4) by Mark Hodder

BOOK FIVE BLURB—The Return of the Discontinued Man (July, 2014): SPRING HEELED JACK IS JUMPING BACK! It's 9 p.m. on February 15, 1860, and Charles Babbage, the British Empire's most brilliant scientist, performs an experiment. Within moments, blood red snow falls from the sky and Spring Heeled Jack pops out of thin air in London's Leicester Square. Though utterly disoriented and apparently insane, the strange creature is intent on one thing: hunting Sir Richard Francis Burton! Spring Heeled Jack isn't alone in his mental confusion. Burton can hardly function; he's experiencing one hallucination after another-visions of parallel realities and future history. Someone, or something, is trying to tell him about…what? When the revelation comes, it sends Burton and his companions on an expedition even the great explorer could never have imagined—a voyage through time itself into a twisted future where steam technology has made a resurgence and a despotic intelligence rules over the British Empire! ~ Goodreads | The Return of the Discontinued Man (Burton & Swinburne, #5) by Mark Hodder

BOOK SIX BLURB—The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (August 13th 2015): Having returned from his expedition to the future, Burton reveals to the authorities what he witnessed there. In response, prime minister Disraeli initiates a programme whereby the empire's elite have their consciousnesses transferred into mechanical bodies, thereby ensuring eternal rule. As a brutal plutocracy emerges, Burton and Swinburne find themselves leading a revolution. The Sixth and final Burton and Swinburne Adventure! ~ Goodreads | The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats: The Burton & Swinburne Adventures by Mark Hodder

First Sentences Edit

  1. The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010) — By God! He's killed himself!
  2. The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (2011) — Sir Richard Francis Burton was dead.
  3. Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (2012) — Sir Richard Francis Burton wriggled beneath a bush at the edge of a thicket in the top western corner of Green Park, London and cursed himself for a fool.
  4. The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Aug 8, 2013) — Captain Richard Francis Burton leaned on the basin, looked into the mirror, and saw Captain Richard Francis Burton glowering back.
  5. The Return of the Discontinued Man (July, 2014) — "You're a drooling, bulge-eyed drug addict!"
  6. The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (August 13th 2015) —

Quotes Edit

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit

Books:

Excerpts & Chapters:

Summaries

World, Characters, etc:

Steampunk

Burton & Swinburne series:

  1. 1-The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010)
  2. 2-The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (2011)
  3. 3-Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (2012)
  4. 4-The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Aug 8, 2013)
  5. 5-The Return of the Discontinued Man (July, 2014)
  6. 6-The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (August 13th 2015)

Series Reviews:

Reviews:

Interviews:

Articles:

Artist

Author:

Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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