All existing fans of the Thomas Kydd Novels need to know is that this is another beautifully crafted cracking yarn that takes the story forward and adds further depth to the familiar characters. For those starting their voyage with this edition they have a great deal to look forward to – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: To The Eastern Seas FILE: R3019 AUTHOR: Julian Stockwin PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton BINDING: hard back PRICE: £20.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Wooden Walls, Napoleonic Wars, privateers, pirates, seaman, circumnavigation, naval warfare, rewards, wooden warships, age of sail, Spain, France, Netherlands, corsairs, merchant ships, naval vessels, colonies, colonial Governors, East India Company, Indonesia, Malaya, South Eastern Seas
IMAGE: B3019.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y45vk98o LINKS: DESCRIPTION: All existing fans of the Thomas Kydd Novels need to know is that this is another beautifully crafted cracking yarn that takes the story forward and adds further depth to the familiar characters. For those starting their voyage with this edition they have a great deal to look forward to – Most Highly Recommended. When the first story, “Kydd”, in the series appeared in print, it was obvious that here was a story to equal the epics from Forester, O'Brien, Dudley Pope, Alexander Kemp. It was a riveting tale, with nicely crafted characters, a sea state in change, and a fresh look at history in the time of Nelson. What marked it out was the starting point of the plot. Thomas Kydd was a young whig maker from Guilford who was taken by the press gang and forced into a life at sea. In his first ship he was befriended by a mysterious character who was a seaman, but a volunteer rather than a pressed man. With the established novels of this genre, the principle character started as a Midshipman and rose to command. O'Brien had broken new ground by the way in which he built his stories around two characters, one, Aubrey, was the officer, master and commander, and his close friend was the ships doctor and spy. Stockwin followed a similar course with his two principle characters but added the challenges of rising to Commissioned rank, or coming aft through the hause. As each new story appeared, it was both a stand alone tale and also a natural evolution from the previous novel. It seems only yesterday that “Kydd” was released, but this is now the 22nd episode in the saga and as fresh and vibrant as the first. Where ever the reader has started in the saga, it is strongly recommended that the earlier episodes be acquired as rapidly as possible because each adds to the others. Had Stockwin stopped at Trafalgar he would have followed those who built this genre before him. It would have been commendable, but at 1805 the stories did not stop and broke into very fresh ground. The challenge for every author, writing about the Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, is that The Battle of Trafalgar had every element of legend, with a still young fleet commander fighting the combined fleets of France and Spain, achieving a staggering victory and dying in the moment of that triumph on a ship named HMS Victory. A script writer could not hope for so many memorable elements and yet it was pretty much all true. The nation celebrated supremacy at sea and mourned their Admiral. Attention moved, for historians and novelists, to the army and to Wellington. Most can be forgiven for thinking the war at sea ended in British triumph, but that was not the case. Stockwin has managed to break through the glass ceiling of Trafalgar seamlessly. He has taken Kydd on to advancement and the Dash for Empire. This has produced some highly enjoyable tales that also inform and open a part of history that has been sorely neglected. This new tale sails out into a critical point in the development of the British Empire, based around the East India Company and the opportunities for Britain created by the defeat of the Dutch by Napoleon and the mixed feeling of the Dutch people. This is a story to enthral, another page turner that will leave the reader satisfied and keen to pick up any early Kydd stories that have been missed.