A Pair of Bellocs!
For my 49th and 50th Audible credits, two titles from the multi-talented Belloc family:
First, in The Mercy of Allah Hilaire Belloc uses an exotic Oriental setting to satirise the Western commercial and economic issues of his time, as aged merchant Mahmoud relates to his young nephews the story of his rise to fabulous riches. From being kicked out (literally) from the family home by his exasperated father, with only the barest patrimony to sustain him, the young wastral goes from rags to riches, and back again, aided only by ‘providence’ – and his very inventive wits.
And in The Lodger, Hilaire’s sister, Marie Belloc Lowndes, created what is widely regarded as the first and the best fictional adaptation of the Jack the Ripper story: As all London is gripped by the horrific series of murders committed on its fog-bound streets by the self-styled ‘Avenger’, respectable retired servants Robert Bunting and his wife Ellen are on the brink of personal disaster, in the ruin of their business. But then – miraculously as it seems – they are saved, when the enigmatic Mr Sleuth turns up at the door of their lodging house looking for rooms… The novel has been filmed multiple times, including in an early work by Alfred Hitchcock