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By Patrick Butler
In a non-historical context, Erskine Childers is perhaps most famously remembered now as the author of The Riddle of the Sands, a story of intrigue and spying on the seas and islands around East Frisland on the North Sea coast of Germany in the years leading up to the First World War. In addition to being a great boating adventure, the novel is considered by many to be the forerunner of the modern genre of espionage thrillers.