It is 1843 and Captain Nathaniel Sir Drinkwater embarks on the paddle-steamer Vestal for an inspection of lighthouses on the west coast of England. Bowed with age and honors, the old sea officer has been drawn from retirement on half-pay to fulfill his public duty. The following day, tragedy strikes, and Drinkwater is confronted with his past life: his sins and follies, his triumphs and his disasters.
Drawing on a true incident, Richard Woodman deftly concludes the career of his sea hero. Drinkwater’s complex character is revealed in its entirety. Far from being the reminiscences of an old man, the novel skillfully weaves the past with the present; the personal tensions below decks, the straining creak of a man-of-war under sail, the crack of a cannon shot and the plaintive mews of the trailing gulls are never far away. To the end, Nathaniel Drinkwater’s life is full of incident and the unexpected, so typical of the sea officers of his day.
About the Author
Captain Richard Martin Woodman retired in 1997 from a 37-year nautical caree. Woodman's Nathaniel Drinkwater e series is often compared to the work of the late Patrick O'Brian. 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 has spent eleven years in command. His experience ranges from cargo-liners to ocean weather ships and specialist support vessels as well as 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."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nicely done retrospective and denouement for a character and series that I have much enjoyed over the years.