Adventure NovelAdventure novels typically present a hero or heroes who must embark in some sort of quest for their country, for a woman, and sometimes for both. While not novels in the modern sense of the word, the roots of this genre can be found in Greek and Latin poems such as the Odyssey and the Eneid, respectively. Another Homer poem, The Illiad features many tropes of adventure books like the damsel in distress (Helen), the rogue antihero who is willing to risk his country for the love of said damsel (Paris), the wronged husband who sets out to restore his honor (Menelaus), the hero who will stop at nothing to avenge his best friend (Achilles), and many more.
However, the man who made the adventure novel what it is today is undoubtedly Alexandre Dumas, pere. One of the most prolific writers of all time (albeit with the help of his tireless assistant Auguste Maquet), Dumas defined the genre with The Three Musketeers (and its sequels Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne), which combines friendship, heroism, action, romance, humor and even tragedy to make it an instant classic. If that opus defined the genre, Dumas perfected it with the Count of Monte Cristo, a riveting tale of vengeance and redemption set against the rise and fall of Napoleon.
British authors have also contributed in no small amount to the adventure genre. Sir Walter Scott was able to bring together Richard the Lionheart, Robin Hood and the Knights Templar in Ivanhoe, and gave us another unforgettable hero in Rob Roy. Similarly, Robert Louis Stevenson struck gold twice with Treasure Island, and The Black Arrow. Great Britain is also home to the most brilliant detective in fiction, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, whose adventures with Doctor John Watson took them all over England and also abroad.