francis series

Francis


Among the very few works in Bengali literature dealing with Adventure or Treasure Hunting in foreign locales, Anil Bhowmik and his renowned creation Francis occupies a pride of place, the other significant contributors in this genre being Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay (with his Trilogy of Chander Pahar, Maraner Danka Baje and Hira Manik Jwale) and Hemendrakumar Roy (with his popular creations Bimal and Kumar and stories like 'Jakher Dhan'). But Anil Bhowmik's creation brings an added, Scandinavian flavor to the genre since Francis is depicted as a Viking sailor hunting for treasure in uncharted and unfamiliar territories.

Series: Francis

Creator: Anil Bhowmik

Original Language: Bengali

Genre: Adventure

Synopsis


The entire series was written from the 'Viking' perspective and mostly dealt with treaure hunting. Francis and his companions were treasure hunters, but they lacked the greed of money or material benefit which are very common traits in treasure-hunters. The author depicted that the sheer thrill and intelligence associated with the process of treasure hunting were what primarily coerced the protagonists into such a vocation.

Features of the Series


The Francis series is said to be heavily influenced by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay's Adventure Trilogy: Chander Pahar, Maraner Danka Baje and Hira Manik Jwale. The Francis series was unique on the basis of its Viking flavor & attention to details. Anil Bhowmik researched extensively for information regarding Vikings & the Inca Civilization. Most of the stories are accompanied by mysterious puzzles which must be solved by the protagonists in order to get to the treasure.

For example, in Bishakta Upatyaka (The Poison Valley) Francis had to solve a puzzle to achieve what he had hoped to:

"Adbhut Adbhut
Brendoner Chora
Pa ache hat nei ,
Matha thik Khara"

"Strange O Strange
That's Brendon's Dagger,
No hands but legs,
It's straight, no Swagger"

List of Stories


  1. SONAR GHANTA (Bell of God)
  2. HIRER PAHAR (Mountain of Diamonds)
  3. MUKTOR SAMUDRA (Sea of Pearls)
  4. TUSHARE GUPTADHAN (Treasure in the land of Ice)
  5. RUPOR NADI (The Silver Stream)
  6. BISHAKTA UPATYAKA (The Poison Valley)
  7. MANIMANIKYER JAHAJ (The Ship of Riches)
  8. CHIKAMAR DEHARAKSHI (Chikama's Bodyguard)
  9. CHUNIPANNAR RAJMUKUT (The crown of Rubies and Emeralds)
  10. JODDHAMURTI RAHASYA (The Mystery of the warrior-statue)
  11. COUNT ROGER ER GUPTADHAN (Count Roger's Treasure)
  12. RANIR RATNABHANDRA (The Treasures of the Queen)
  13. JISSHUR KATHER MURTI (The Wooden Jesus)
  14. MAJORKA DWEEP E FRANCIS (Francis in Majorka Island)
  15. CHARLES ER SWARNO SAMPAD (Chales' Gold)
  16. RUPOR CHABI (The Silver Key)
  17. BHANGA AAYNAR RAHASYA (The Mystery of the Broken Mirror)
  18. SAMRATER RAJKOSH (The Emperor's Treasury)
  19. RATNAHAR UDDHARE FRANCIS (Search for the necklace)
  20. AVIDRAR TAROBARI (Avidra's Sword)
  21. CHICHEN ITZAR RAHASYA (Tale of the Chichen Itza)
  22. PATHARER FULDANI (The stone vase)
  23. HIRAK SINDHUKER SANDHANE (Search for the Diamond chest)
  24. SWARNAKHANIR RAHASYA (The Mystery of the Gold Mine)
  25. SONAR GHAR (The Golden Room)
  26. SHAYITO DEBOTADER MANDIR (The temple of the Literary Gods)
  27. GARBHGRIHE DHANBHANDAR (The Riches Underneath)
  28. RAJA ALFRED ER SWARNAKHANI (The Gold Mine of King Alfred)
  29. SONAR SINHASAN (The Golden Throne)
  30. SIYOVARER RATNABHANDAR (Siyovar's Treasure)
  31. MRITYUSAYARE FRANCIS (Francis in the sea of Death)
  32. SULTAN HANIF ER RATNABHANDAR (Sultan Hanif's Treasures)

Characters


There are four chief characters in this series:
1. Francis
2. Harry
3. Sanko.
4. Maria (Wife of Francis)

Publication History


Maximum stories of Francis were published in 'Suktara' Puja Numbers. Only a few appeared in 'Anandamela'.
Publisher's Address:
UJJWAL SAHITYA MANDIR
C-3 COLLEGE STREET MARKET (MARCUS SQUARE)
KOLKATA 700007

Reception


The Francis series was highly appreciated by children of myriad generations. The Golden age of francis series is considered to be late 80’s and early 90’s when the stories were being published in "Suktara". Anil Bhowmik passed away in 2008. Probably SULTAN HANIF ER RATNABHANDAR (Sultan Hanif's Treaures) in the 2009 Suktara Puja Number was his last Francis novel.

Translations


The Francis story “ Sonar Ghanta “ was translated into English with the title “ Bell of God” and was published by Mansi Prakashan Pvt. Ltd.

[Compiled by Pramit Mukherjee]
[Edited by Jagannath Chakravarti]

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