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The French Admiral (1990)

av Dewey Lambdin

Serier: Alan Lewrie (2)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1453140,155 (4.05)5
Alan Lewrie is a scandalous young rake whose amorous adventures ashore lead to his being shipped off to the Navy. Lewrie finds that he is a born sailor, although life at sea is a stark contrast to the London social whirl to which he had become accustomed. As his career advances, he finds the life of a naval officer suits him.… (mer)

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Alan Lewrie, Lambdin's reprobate midshipman brat and amoral waistrel, becomes a more than competent seaman in this second of the series. Lambdin ranks right up with Forester and O'Brian as one of the best writers of nautical fiction taking place during the late eighteenth century. Lambdin, an American, writes from the perspective of the British as they find themselves on the losing end of battles with American terrorists and rebels. It struck me again, while reading this, how wars are defined by the victors, for surely what we proudly name the "Revolutionary War" was by all accounts nothing more than the first American civil war. And a bloody war it was, with terrible atrocities committed by both sides. Lambdin doesn't gloss over these dark aspects, and this volume has much less of the high humor contained in [b:The King's Coat|181195|The King's Coat (Alan Lewrie, #1)|Dewey Lambdin|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172502395s/181195.jpg|175082], the introductory novel to the series. Alan and the crew of the Desperate find themselves assisting British (actually everyone was British, so they really might better be called Loyalists) forces at Yorktown. Their forces are ill-equipped to deal with the guerrilla tactics of the rebels, and a sense of hopelessness pervades the Redcoat army. The cause seems futile and the French Admiral DeGrasse's fleet, in a Kafkaesque element, hovers threateningly in the background, a huge threat, but never actually makes an appearance.

The fall of Yorktown reminds one eerily of Bataan and Singapore. Very few escaped. Alan and some North Carolina volunteers that he was transporting across the bay away from Yorktown in an attempt to escape , are blown off course during a storm and forced to fight their way out, even though Cornwallis has surrendered the main army. Alan and two officers, the Chiswick brothers, become good friends and after fighting their way out of a plantation where they had taken refuge, Alan makes it back to the Desperate. He takes a message to the family of the Chiswicks, finding them in penury, all their possessions having been confiscated by rebels. The daughter, Caroline, is, of course, quite attractive, if a bit thin, not to mention lithe. Alan helps them find passage out of Wilmington on the Desperate, his overactive libido in full force, but soon the captain is wooing Caroline, and that leads to a funny dialogue between Alan and Mr. Monk, the ship's master: When asked if it was rather unusual for captains to have women on board, Monk laughs and tells of one captain, Augustus Harvey, who, when a young post captain, "must have made sport with over two hundred women in one commission, duchesses, servant girls, and two nuns to top it off."

The French admiral De Grasse, always in the background as a menacing figure, never actually appears, and Lambdin has harsh words for the failure of the British admirals to attack him head on. They defeated De Grasse easily later; had they done so earlier, the war might have ended differently. In his historical notes, Lambdin notes that the atrocities described in the book are well documented, and fear of rebel terrorist acts forced many Loyalist's families to flee to Canada. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
1781 Held by the British, the Chesapeake Bay port of Yorktown is under siege. Pounded by the American forces on land and the deadly warships of their French allies at sea, the once-proud city is aflame and near ruin. But on the horizon, the Royal Navy fleet, with heavily armed frigates, is poised to break through the French blockade. Aboard HMS Desperate, Midshipman Alan Lewrie sets his gunners to their lethal work firing broadsides of 24-pound shot at the enemy vessels.
  losloper | Apr 1, 2012 |
Laugh-out-loud humor, gasp-and-cover-your-mouth horror, and long passages of technical sailing lingo that periodically threaten to overwhelm the story. ( )
  DocWood | Dec 26, 2011 |
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Alan Lewrie is a scandalous young rake whose amorous adventures ashore lead to his being shipped off to the Navy. Lewrie finds that he is a born sailor, although life at sea is a stark contrast to the London social whirl to which he had become accustomed. As his career advances, he finds the life of a naval officer suits him.

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