Talbot Mundy's life is far from being a dull literary biography. Accounts of his adventures are often a record of "lordly lies". Born William Lancaster Gribbon, he was the stereotype of the Victorian English rake. His travels and exploits -- with frequent confrontations with the law -- took him all over the world under a variety of aliases. The day after he landed in New York in 1909 Mundy was enticed into a poker game, robbed and beaten. During his recovery, he tried his hand at writing and soon became very popular. He drew heavily upon his adventures in India, the Near East and Africa as background for his fiction.