Harry Faversham is the hero of the novel The Four Feathers which was written by Alfred Edward Woodley Mason and first published with great success in 1902. When the story starts Harry Faversham is a young officer in the British army. He is tired of army life and wishes to settle down and marry his fiancee, Ethne Burroughs. Harry is forced to consider his future as an army officer when his regiment is posted to the African country of the Sudan to take part in the campaign that is being fought there.
On the very eve of the regiment’s departure, Harry resigns his commission, much to the disgust of his fiancee and his three fellow officers, Captain John Durrance, Lieutenant Thomas Willoughby and Leutenant Peter Burroughs, Ethne’s brother. Later Harry is given four white feathers (a white feather being the symbol of cowardice) by Ethne and the three officers.
How Harry sails for Egypt to rescue his three officer friends from great danger and redeems himself in the eyes of his fiancee makes for a feathers to Ethne and his three friends and all ends happily in the tradition of adventure books of this type. A E W Mason, who wrote the book was born May 7, 1865 and scored his first publishing triumph with The courtship of Morrice Buckler in 1896.
Books of his, such as The House of the Arrow, At the Villa Rosa, and The Four Feathers, were filmed, the last, the most popular, at least three times. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that “Alf Manson” is one of Captain Hook’s pirates in Peter Pan which was Written by Manson’s good friend, J M Barrie. A E W Manson died November 11,1948.