In A Brig of War, Nathaniel Drinkwater is promoted lieutenant of the brig Hellebore. He finds routine convoy escort duties end abruptly when Admiral Nelson, pursuing the French fleet to Egypt, sends Hellebore to the Red Sea with an urgent warning to the British squadron there. However, Nelson’s apprehensions over French ambitions in the East are more than justified. Edouard Santhonax, Drinkwater’s old enemy, is already preparing for a French descent on India. The hunt for this elusive Frenchman and his frigate is combined with British naval operations on the flank of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. It is during the attack on Kosseir that Drinkwater is left for dead. His escape and the subsequent desperate attack on Santhonax leads to a still more dangerous situation under Augustus Morris, former tyrant of the midshipmen’s berth on HMS Cyclops.Drinkwater’s fight to bring a half-armed ship safely to the cape of Good Hope is beset with personal enmity, the activity of the French, and the violence of the sea.
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."
Nautical novelist Richard Woodman arrives in New World ports with the first three of 14 installments in the Nathaniel Drinkwater series, previously released in the U.K. between 1981 and 1983 and compared by critics there to C. S. Forester's Hornblower saga. An Eye of the Fleet, A King's Cutter, and A Brig of War are set in the late 18th century and find hero Drinkwater caught up in revolutions on both sides of the Atlantic. Those looking for high seas action and historical intrigue are in luck but these are strictly for devotees of the genre.
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.
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.