Gentleman Captain

Gentleman Captain

4.0 9
by J. D. Davies, Ben Yarde-Buller
     
 

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“A beautifully written and masterfully told story full of wicked intrigue, gripping suspense, stirring action, deft plot twists, and incredibly rich and compelling characters … destined to be a classic series of nautical adventure.” —Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan and Fur, Fortune, and Empire

Having sunk the first ship he

Overview


“A beautifully written and masterfully told story full of wicked intrigue, gripping suspense, stirring action, deft plot twists, and incredibly rich and compelling characters … destined to be a classic series of nautical adventure.” —Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan and Fur, Fortune, and Empire

Having sunk the first ship he commanded off the coast of Ireland, Captain Matthew Quinton is determined to complete his second mission without loss of life or honor. Rebellion is stirring in the Scottish Isles, and King Charles II needs loyal officers to sail north and face the threat. But aboard His Majesty’s Ship the Jupiter, the young “gentleman captain” leads a resentful crew and has but few on whom he can rely. As they approach the wild coast of Scotland, Quinton begins to learn the ropes and win the respect of his fellow officers and sailors.

But he has other worries: a suspicion that the previous captain of the Jupiter was murdered, a feeling that several among his crew have something to hide, and a growing conviction that betrayal lies closer to home than he had thought.

“A delightful tale.” —Kirkus Reviews

“As fascinating an account of Restoration politics as it is of the Restoration Navy.” —Seth Hunter, author of The Winds of Folly

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Georgette Heyer is unbeatable!" -SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

For her, he would do anything...

Plainspoken country gentleman Philip Jettan won't bother with a powdered wig, high heels, and fashionable lace cuffs, until he discovers that his lovely neighbor is enamored with a sophisticated man-about-town...

But what is it that she really wants?

Cleone Charteris sends her suitor Philip away to get some town polish, and he comes back with powder, patches, and all the manners of a seasoned rake. Does Cleone now have exactly the kind of man she's always wanted, or was her insistence on Philip's remarkable transformation a terrible mistake?

What readers say:

"Charming, charming, charming. And highly readable!"

"Witty dialogue and well-developed storylines-even Jane Austen could do no better."

"Scintillating and very human love story by an author of exceptional talents."

"Ms Heyer's effervescent wit and obvious ability to tell a good and humorous story is already evident, making Powder and Patch an enjoyable and worthwhile read."

"This story sparkles with witty dialogue and wonderful descriptions of costumes and festivities of the 1700s. I re-read it at least once a year and I enjoy it as much as the first time, again and again!"

Publishers Weekly
After losing his first ship to a storm, Matthew Quinton, the 21-year-old gentleman hero of this promising 17th-century English nautical saga, is given a second chance when newly restored King Charles II names him the captain of the frigate Jupiter and orders him to Scotland to stop a potential rebellion. The novice captain has to deal with warring clans, the temptation of a beautiful countess, Dutch intervention, allegations that the Jupiter's previous captain was murdered, and, eventually, a surprising foe. The author does a creditable job of dramatizing life in Samuel Pepys's navy, and by the explosive climax, Quinton has developed into a hero worth rooting for and meeting again in further exploits. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

A sprightly fictionalized account of the fatal cleft in loyalties among seamen following Charles II's restoration in 1660.

English historian Davies (Pepsy's Navy, 2008, etc.) applies his impressive depth of knowledge of the 17th-century British navy to re-create the chaotic state of affairs that reigned when Cromwell's Commonwealth collapsed and Charles II was invited back to the throne. The seas had been commanded handily over the previous 11 years by the Commonwealth seamen—the humble but capable "tarpaulins"—whose achievements included beating the Dutch in the maritime war of 1652–'54. These commanders were now regarded as having suspicious allegiances, and Charles needed captains loyal to king and throne—"gentlemen captains," chosen by breeding rather than competence, such as our 21-year-old narrator Matthew Quinton, the younger brother of the current Earl of Ravensden. Summoned by the king for a new assignment, despite his disastrous previous commission as captain of theHappy Restoration, which ended in a shipwreck only months before, Quinton is ordered for immediate boarding of theJupiter, which, along with its companion,Royal Martyr, is supposed to sail to the Scottish isles and intercept a huge arms shipment lest it fall into the hands of the restive Scottish clans. Ominously, theJupiter's previous captain, James Harker, died under shadowy circumstances. Davies, steeped in the language of the era, proceeds to depict the drama with confidence and verve, and he fashions a convincing crew of personalities and types, such as Quinton's irreplaceable mate Kit Farrell, who teaches his master the ropes in exchange for learning to read and write. Along the way, Davies takes every opportunity to feed the reader some British dynastic history, but the writing is natural and well worth the instruction.

A delightful tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547577418
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
02/08/2012
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty novels, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. She was known as the Queen of Regency romance, and was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, and her extraordinary plots and characterizations.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The author does a creditable job of dramatizing life in Samuel Pepys's navy, and by the explosive climax, Quinton has developed into a hero worth rooting for and meeting again in further exploits."
Publishers Weekly

"Davies, steeped in the language of the era, proceeds to depict the drama with confidence and verve, and he fashions a convincing crew of personalities and types... Along the way, Davies takes every opportunity to feed the reader some British dynastic history, but the writing is natural and well worth the instruction. A delightful tale."
Kirkus Reviews

"Gentleman Captain is a beautifully written and masterfully told story full of wicked intrigue, gripping suspense, stirring action, deft plot twists, and incredibly rich and compelling characters. It so effortlessly transports the reader to another place and time, you won’t want to put it down until you have reached its thrilling conclusion. J. D. Davies promises this is just the first volume in the journals of Matthew Quinton. It is a brilliant beginning to what is destined to be a classic series of nautical adventure."
—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

"J.D. Davies's depiction of Restoration England and the British navy is impeccable, his characters truly live and breathe, and the plot kept me in suspense. Gentleman Captain is one of the rare books that I have read with a smile on my face from cover to cover. I could not recommend it more."
—Edward Chupack, author of Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder

"A splendid addition to nautical adventure, and a grand story, to boot!"
—Dewey Lambdin, author of The Baltic Gambit

Meet the Author

J. D. DAVIES was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. Educated at Jesus College, Oxford, he is one of the foremost authorities on the seventeenth-century British navy and has written widely on the subject, most recently in Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare, 1649–1689, winner of the Samuel Pepys Award

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Gentleman Captain 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Rob_Ballister More than 1 year ago
When I picked up J. D. Davies GENTLEMAN CAPTAIN, I didn't know what I was getting into. While a fan of naval warfare literature, 17th century Restoration England is not my usual drug of choice. However, Mr. Davies has made a believer out of me, and hope that he has more to offer this niche of historical fiction. The story surrounds a young Matthew Quinton, a "gentleman Captain," given command of a king's warship more for his nobility than his competence. Indeed, he has no seafaring experience to speak of, and his first ship is smashed to pieces on the rocks due to his incompetence. However, he's given a second chance when the king needs someone he can trust to take over for a recently deceased (murdered?) captain, and because Matthew's older brother is close friends with the king, Matthew is again given command. Put in charge of a crew loyal to their deceased captain, and who is fully aware that their new captain lost his first ship, Captain Quinton does not have the odds in his favor. But bravery is not only a trait of the experienced, and his courage, judgment, and willingness to learn begin to win his crew just as they discover that treachery is all around them. Davies does an outstanding job of developing not only his main characters, but also the supporting cast. Many are so oafish as to be laughable, but that is part of the genius of telling the story from a nobleman's point of view. Davies does use an extensive vocabulary, and I had to run to a dictionary at least once, but it was well worth it--he is a master of the English language. The story is unique, full of colorful characters, mystery, and diabolic treachery, all building up to a tremendously exciting (and brutal) finally that's as well written as any depiction of naval combat I've read. Bravo to the author!
AAR More than 1 year ago
GENTLEMAN CAPTAIN by J. D. Davies is a historical suspense set in 1662 England. It is written with details. It has a gripping plot with twists and turns, intrigue, friendships, loyalty, traitors, lies, betrayal, and a young captain who is determined to prove himself to his crew and King. This is an epic tale of adventure on the high seas of treason, nobles, heroes and deception. The characters are gripping and strong. If you enjoy stories of the high seas, naval intrigue you will surely enjoy this one. This book was received for review from Net Galley and details can be found atHoughton Miffin Harcourt and My Book Addiction and More.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was delightful.  The protagonist, Matthew Quinton, is a character to whom most can relate, and the depth of character that Davies is able to show about most of the cast with even mere hints is surprising. I cannot speak from first-hand knowledge, but it seems that he captures the tenor of the times in which the book is set accurately.  One would think this might be a given, considering Dsvies is a historian of this period of history, but is one thing to understand a time period, and quite another to be able to portray it.  The historical notes at the end of this book is also a very pleasant wrap-up.
bobsocean More than 1 year ago
An excellent sea and land epic in the typical British tradition. Mr. Davies literally brings the captains and crews alive to the envy of those of us who wished we could have witnessed these times ourselves. Looking forward to more from Capt. Matthew Quinton and his exploits on land and sea. A wonderfully imagined character with whom I would have been proud to serve. Hear, hear....let the stories continue. Well done, Sir!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never read it.