`The love of adventure, and of mystery, and of a good fight lingers in the minds of men and women.' Thus wrote Andrew Lang in 1887, and the enduring popularity of a genre that was in its heyday at the turn of the century shows no sign of waning. This anthology brings together 23 of the best adventure stories from the zenith of Empire to our present, fragmented, post-colonial world. Pitched against the unknown, against the forces of nature and against man's own treachery, the protagonists' courage and heroism are put to the test. Insettings that range from desert islands to the Java Sea, from war-torn Europe to deepest Africa, heroes battle not only for self-preservation but in defence of country and culture. As the old certainties faded with the loss of empire, so moral complexity and literary sophistication grew, and thevery notion of `adventure' is challenged in fine stories by Paul Bowles, Tim O'Brien, and Margaret Atwood.