"There is something about a treasure," says Joseph Conrad in Nostromo, "that fastens on a man's mind." And, yes, there is something about the subject of treasure hunting that continues to fascinate us. One only needs to browse the Web to discover a whole netherworld of treasure-hunting magazines, metal-detector clubs, and lost-mine information exchanges that apparently engage the funds and spare time of thousands of hopefuls. But digging up tin cans and discarded horseshoes or crashing through the Superstitions in a "recreational vehicle" somehow goes against the romantic grain.
Charles Elliott recaptures the essential romance of the search in this collection of classic stories. Many are true - or purport to be. They encompass all the great themes - obsession, tragedy, danger, crime, frustration, terrible physical challenge, success and disappointment. They take place under the sea, in jungles, on desert islands, even in the attics of old houses. The treasure itself is not always gold, silver, and diamonds - it may be lost documents, the solution to a historical puzzle, or an unexpected archaeological discovery. What is common to them all is the excitement of the chase and the possibility - irrational, perhaps, but unavoidable -that treasure really is there for the finding.
CHARLES ELLIOTT is always ready to depart for the Old West in search of a lost mine. He has written The Potting-Shed Papers, The Transplanted Gardener, and The Gap in the Hedge. He has also edited The Quotable Gardener and The Greatest Cat Stories Ever Told. He lives in London, England.
Praise for Charles Elliott:"Excellent as always. Charles Elliott is a wonderfully informed and engaging writer."--Bill Bryson
"Every once in a while, a book publisher comes up with a great concept for a series of books that deserve more than superficial recognition. Such a series is "The Greatest (fill in the blank) Stories Ever Told", anthologies that should win places on many bedside tables. On the long winter nights that lie ahead, such stories make great reading." --The Lexington County Chronicle
"Fascinating collection."-- Forecast
"Digging into this book, a reader can discover some real treasures."--Journal Inquirer