Jack Ludlow is the pen-name of writer David Donachie, who was born in Edinburgh in 1944. He has always had an abiding interest in history: from the Roman Republic to medieval warfare as well as the naval history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which he has drawn on for his many historical adventure novels. David lives in Deal with his partner, the novelist Sarah Grazebrook.
By the Mast Dividedby David Donachie
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London 1793: Young firebrand John Pearce is illegally press-ganged from the refuge of the Pelican tavern to a brutal life aboard HMSBrilliant, a frigate on its way to war. In his first few days Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. But he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men - fly Charlie Taverner; quiet Ben Walker; tired old Abel Scrivens; the bairn of the group, Rufus Dommet; the droll, tough Irish labourer, Michael O’Hagan; and the bumptious Gherson - pressed men like him, who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader. During an action-packed two weeks, as HMSBrilliantchases a French privateer across the English channel, this disparate group of men form friendships that will last a lifetime.
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