Friday, November 23, 2012

Character Sketches of Jimgrim and Ramsden - Brian Taves

"In a series of letters to 1920s readers of Adventure magazine who first read of the exploits of James Schuyler Grim, known as "Jimgrim," Mundy provided the background of his hero. He "has served in the Intelligence Departments of at least five nations, always reserving United States citizenship. He speaks a dozen languages so fluently that he can pass himself off as a native; and since he was old enough to build a fire and skin a rabbit the very midst of danger has been his goal, just as most folk spend their lives looking for safety and comfort." Resourceful, calm, and cunning, friendly but also distant, only once does he nearly become romantically involved, when the wily Arab woman Ayisha hopes to ensnare him--but he instead marries her to the Arab chieftain Ali Higg to insure tribal peace (The Woman Ayisha). During the years around World War I and its aftermath, Jimgrim, in his late 30s, was recruited by the British army intelligence service because of his skill at impersonation and disguise and his knowledge of Arab life. Mundy asserted that all of his Jimgrim stories were founded on fact, and Grim was based on a real person who had fought behind Lawrence and twice made the pilgrimage to Mecca, "on one occasion overland, and once by train." " 3.5 out of 5