It is 1811 and Napoleon’s French Empire dominates Europe. Desperate to stem the encroaching French tide and avert war with the emerging power of the United States, the Royal Navy orders Captain Nathaniel Drinkwater to the Chesapeake Bay to heal the rift between London and Washington. On the banks of the Potomac, Drinkwater discovers the first clue to a plan by which the U.S. could defeat the Royal Navy, collapse the British government, and utterly destroy the British cause. Drinkwater takes command of a squadron sent against the Americans in the South Atlantic, audaciously risking his reputation and, in a climactic confrontation, coming face-to-face with the horror of an interminable war.
Captain Richard Martin Woodman retired in 1997 from a 37-year nautical career. Woodman's Nathaniel Drinkwater series is often compared to the work of the late Patrick O'Brian. Woodman is the author of some two dozen nautical novels, as well as several nonfiction books. Unlike many other modern naval historical novelists, such as C.S. Forester or O'Brian, he has served afloat. He went to sea at the age of sixteen as an indentured midshipman and spent eleven years in command. His experience ranges from cargo-liners to ocean weather ships and specialist support vessels to yachts, square-riggers, and trawlers. Said Lloyd's List of his work: "As always, Richard Woodman's story is closely based on actual historical events. All this we have come to expect—and he adds that special ambience of colourful credibility which makes his nautical novels such rattling good reads."
The Flying Squadron Contents
PART ONE: HAWKS AND DOVES Cawsand Bay
1 The King's Messenger
2 Roast Pork and Politics
3 A Capital Shot
4 The Paineite
5 An Invitation
6 The Widow Shaw
7 A Riot in the Blood
8 The Master Commandant
9 After the Fall
10 The Parthian Shot
PART TWO: THE COMMODORE Gantley Hall
11 A Crossing of Rubicons
12 David and Goliath
13 The Intruder
14 Cry Havoc ...
15 The Whaler
PART THREE: A FURIOUS ASIDE The Admiralty
16 The Dogs of War
17 The Flying Squadron
Packed with exciting incident worthy of wide appeal to those who love thrilling nautical encounters and the sea.
There is no doubt that Nathaniel Drinkwater rates up there with the best of the nautical world.
Rich in detail, historically accurate, and displaying a masterly knowledge of the technical aspects of ships under sail, Woodman's novel is comparable to sea fiction by masters such as C.S. Forester and Alexander Kent in its evocation of the past age of wooden ships and iron men. Highly recommended for public libraries.
Those looking for high seas action and historical intrigue are in luck . . .
Well written and exciting.
Woodman knows his ships and the sea and is a craftsman of great ability.
Brilliantly told . . . the characters are real and lively, the language similar; but above all it is a convincing and compulsive seafaring story.
Action to the bone, no romantic bilge-water.
. . . for all who like to read about naval action in the 19th century, told with gusto and bravura.