The Nine Unknown by Talbot Mundy (Heathen Edition)

The Nine Unknown

“My friend, I will tell you something,” said Ghandava. “There are hundreds of thousands of books, each one of which would come within your definition. There are libraries in crypts beneath the desert sands, that represent the knowledge of nations that disappeared before Atlantis took shape. There are books whose very alphabet fewer than nine men know, written in a language compared to which Sanskrit is a modern tongue. There are individual books among those that contain more true scientific knowledge than all the works of all the modern chemists and metallurgists put together. If you had all the books you would have no building big enough to contain a tenth of them. And if you were twenty years old you would not have time to learn the wisdom contained in one book—which book, however, it is not within your power to find.”

Talbot Mundy (born William Lancaster Gribbon, 1879-1940) was a world-traveling Englishman and, before he found writing, a scoundrel with a rap sheet virtually as long as his future literary output (fraud, impersonation, swindling, adultery, bigamy, imprisonment, even deportation from Africa!) before emigrating to the United States in 1909, where gambling with New York gangsters netted him a nearly fatal beating and a radical, life-altering opportunity: a reporter that covered the incident was so impressed with Mundy’s globetrotting tales that he lent him a typewriter and urged him to write while nursing his wounds. Mundy seized the moment and never looked back, becoming one of the most prolific pulp writers of the 1920s, producing 19 novel-length stories between 1921 and 1923 alone! Not least among them was The Nine Unknown, wherein a priest tasks Jimgrim and his motley cohorts with discovering where the world’s supply of gold and silver is disappearing, which will lead, most assuredly, to the fabled Nine Unknown Men and, more importantly, their nine books of secret Ancient Wisdom which the priest seeks to destroy. However, what they discover is something more valuable than precious metals, and why the Nine Unknown is far more than legend.

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  • Heathenry: Thoughts on the Text
    1. “I cut throats with an outward thrust!”
    2. “Produce but the gold, thou Portuguese!”
    3. Light and Longer Weapons!
    4. “Here’s your Portuguese!”
    5. “The Nine’s spies are everywhere!”
    6. “They fled before me!”
    7. “Shakespearean homeopathic remedy!”
    8. “He is very dead!”
    9. “Silence is silent.”
    10. “Can’t hatch a chicken from a glass egg.”
    11. “Allah! Do I live, and see such sons?”
    12. “I am dead, but the silver cord is not yet cut.”
    13. “I felt the tingle of the magic and fell unresisting.”
    14. “We’ve got your chief!”
    15. “Abandon can’t and cant all ye who enter here!”
    16. “Sahibs, that is a true speech!”
    17. “There will be no witnesses—say that and stick to it!”
    18. “He has whatever she had!”
    19. “Once when they who keep the secrets—”
    20. “Nevertheless, I will take my sword with me!”
    21. “My house is clean again!”

“Talbot Mundy was one of the bestselling writers of adventure fiction of his day.” —Peter Berresford Ellis, The Last Adventurer

“The story of the Nine Unknown Men was popularized for the first time in 1923 by Talbot Mundy. His book is half fiction, half scientific inquiry.” —Louis Pauwels & Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians

“One of the kings of the pulps was Talbot Mundy.” —Famous Pulp Classics

“Jimgrim joins forces with a group of multi-talented comrades to battle the secret forces of the occult in India . . . filled
with excellent examples of oriental magic, mysticism, and machination.” —Roger C. Schlobin, The Literature of Fantasy

“Excellent ethnic characterizations . . . Original subject matter, rapid movement. One of the most successful attempts to weld adventure onto the occult novel.” —Everett F. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction

“Mundy is in many respects superior to Rider Haggard, although he never achieved the latter’s popularity. He has a better sense of character, his plots are much tighter, and his style is smoother.” —Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book

“. . . richly entertaining and imaginative adventure fiction . . .” —Lee Server, Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers

“In retrospect, Mundy can be seen as the most influential and enduring, if not the bestselling, writer of Eastern adventure of his day.” —Brian Taves, Talbot Mundy, Philosopher of Adventure

“Talbot Mundy was one of the great fantasy adventure writers of a time when the art of writing a firmly built long magazine story was at its zenith.” —Mary Gnaedinger, Famous Fantastic Mysteries

Heathen Edition #36: The Nine Unknown

Retail: $13.95
Published: 2022
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 1.05 pounds
Cover: Matte Finish
Interior: Black & White on Cream Paper
Pages: 318 (+2 POD)
Language: English
Annotations: 226 new & 35 original Footnotes
Illustrations: 24

  • Title Page
  • Heathenry Flame
  • Each chapter features the original art from the 1924 book
  • Honorary Heathen Headshot
  • ISBN-10:
    ISBN-13: 9781948316361

  • Fiction / Action & Adventure
  • Fiction / Occult & Supernatural
  • Fiction / Classics
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    Talbot Mundy



    First Edition

    1923, 1924

    Heathen Edition


    Page Count