The Amateur Gentleman

The Amateur Gentleman is an early novel by the popular author of Regency period swashbucklers, Jeffrey Farnol, published in 1913. The novel was made into a silent film in 1920, another silent film in 1926 and a talking film in 1936 with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. starring as the protagonist, Barnabas Barty.

The Amateur Gentleman
AuthorJeffrey Farnol
CountryUnited Kingdom
Publication date
Media typePrint

Plot summary

The format of the novel is essentially that of a bildungsroman. It tells the story of Barnabas Barty, the son of John Barty, the former boxing champion of England and landlord of a pub in Kent. At the start of the tale, Barnabas comes fortuitously into the possession of a vast fortune - £700,000, an astronomical amount by Regency standards - and determines to use this fortune to become a gentleman. His father objects to this plan and they quarrel. They settle their differences in a round of fisticuffs, which Barnabas wins, beating his father fair and square. Barnabas sets off for London to further his ambitions and, on the way there, contrives to make a number of influential friends and enemies.[1]

Farnol exploits the naïvety of the youth for comic effect. For instance, Barnabas is gulled by the chapman who sells him a book on etiquette at an outrageous mark-up. At the other end of the spectrum, Farnol is equally disdainful of Barnabas' sophisticated concealment of his identity.[2]


  • The Amateur Gentleman: a Romance
  • Author: Jeffery Farnol
  • Editor: Low, Marston, 1913
  • 599 pages


  1. "The Amateur Gentleman". Retrieved February 19, 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. "The Amateur Gentleman Unabridged (Annotated)". Retrieved February 19, 2013.

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