Captain Pat O’Connor, Lieutenant Duncan Macleod and Doctor Simon Ferguson return from half-pay to command the frigate HMS SURPRISE, returned to service at Plymouth Dock after long years ‘in ordinary’ to serve the cause of Greek independence. This historical novel is founded upon the continuing voyages of HMS Surprise – the 38-gun, Leda-class frigate of 1812. Though a relatively young ship, she lay at Plymouth Dock in 1822 about to be reduced to a prison hulk. In this story her fate takes its fictional turn for the better. The continuing voyages series, of which this is the first book, is principally a tale of its characters the men of those times, but it is also a story of the effects of war on men: how it affects them, how they respond, what is important to them - set within the backcloth of a relatively confined theatre of war. I fondly imagined for years that the many fans of Patrick O’Brian’s seafaring tales of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin sorely lamented, as did I, the end of his wonderful, utterly exceptional stories and hugely missed those two warm and intensely fascinating individuals, characters always of the most engaging interest while possessed of the most human of personalities; for that surely was O’Brian’s gift: Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin never resembled superheroes, rather in their warmth and fallibility they endeared themselves to us as any current personality might well do, and the gulf of two hundred years between their (fictional) lives and ours simply faded away. With no prospect (sadly) of any further historical novels from Patrick O’Brian and missing his characters so much myself, I decided I must write a sequel so as to bring them back, to enjoy their company all over again. After writing the first draft and by then in a dialogue with his estate, I was made aware of Patrick O’Brian’s wish that no sequel to his series should be published, and hence a different course was subsequently plotted, the finished result being no longer a faithful reproduction of his ingredients but a book with different characters, though one which still draws its inspiration of form and flavour from his genius. This tale, a detailed and interwoven fabric of history and fiction, is set in the early nineteenth-century war of Greek independence. It presents a most suitable subject for a work of historical naval fiction. Adding to the treasure trove of actual events that the historical novelist is blessed with are the real people of those times, many of whom grace this book. It is particularly pleasing to develop this rich mother lode into brief but colourful appearances within the story, the places and timing of which, if not the actualité, accord with the known detail of their lives. Lord Byron is one such person, and the author has taken the liberty of including a few words of simple yet sublime prose which Byron himself wrote within his journal for the 17th October 1823 describing his quietude in Cephalonia some weeks before he departed for his final destiny in Missolonghi. Notwithstanding that this is a work of fiction the author has strived for the inclusion of many real historical events throughout the story. It is little realised, for example, that the phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, now in commonplace use, actually originated from Lord Byron. The capture of Byron’s companion, Count Gamba, by the Turks which is described in this book was a real event, and there surely cannot be anything stranger in fiction than the true tale of the Turk captain fortuitously recognising his Greek captive counterpart, his own former rescuer, after an interval of fully fifteen years.
I live near the rugged north Devon and north Cornwall coast where I love to stroll and take photographs. Over the years I have spent several spells aboard a Danish-built wooden fishing trawler which I co-owned, voyaging around near all of the Scottish Hebridean islands as well as crewing on several occasions including during a voyage from Southampton to refit at Dartmouth (and a most eventful trip that was!) and I became familiar with Poole, Weymouth (Melcombe Regis), Dartmouth and Plymouth along the way. I enjoy real ales, reading (historical books for the most part), folk music and playing a very average game of golf.
Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Codice libro della libreria GOR006971429