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Within these novels, although conflict and warfare abound, these books try to look beyond the fighting into the mind and intentions of our hero. It is consequently left to the reader to gain an insight into our hero's future actions by examining the minutia of his daily life along with his interaction among the other characters and any national and local events occurring around that time. Do not buy these novels if you want blood on every page, these books are essentially written for the naval history buff who has read around this subject. I would however, recommend them to a new recruit to the Georgian naval novel who desires total immersion in that period.
About the Author
William Bertram has for the many years researched Britain’s late 18th and early 19th century Royal Navy; he specialised in the design and performance of wooden warships. He attended Plymouth University for his degree in Maritime History and Marine Technology, then pursued this speciality further. His dissertation on the sailing qualities of 19th century warships was rapidly accepted and broadcast on Television and Radio as well as being published in the New Scientist and in featured in journals and newspapers all around the world. During his time at University, he satisfied his academic curiosity and his need to eat, by becoming a guide at Plymouth Naval Base Museum and a receptionist at Fort Bovisand. However, not being able to follow his original plan, he drifted into teaching.
The following years were fulfilling as a teacher, but retirement threatened and so William returned to his major academic love, maritime history, luckily he was in a city steeped in the past glories of her relationship with the sea. It was at this point in William’s history that he decided to write books based on the history of Plymouth and its seafaring people.
Resolving to write a mixture of factual and fiction, which progress through several generations of the same family, he centred his rags to riches stories around the Brown family. Using factual evidence, he interwove the characters around Plymouth’s 18th century history and streets. This clearly involved many long days of research and fact-finding, however, eventually he wrote his first novel and swiftly followed it with two more in rapid succession.
Nevertheless, all five books which William wrote are based on this 18th century Plymouthian family who are clearly fictional, however, this can never be said of the novel’s background structure, here William has meticulously used old maps, drawings and records to build up an historic environment for his characters to exist in. He has even taken photographs of the streets and places mentioned in the stories and these are to be found on his web site, (www.agesofplymouth.co.uk).
Similarly with the three plays that have been also been composed, these also revolve about the same family, but are set in different centuries, but all involve the Plymouth Brown family and all deal with a period of historical significance.
on May 26, 2013 :
Really a nice book. Great story, well told. Not too many action scenes but an interesting and often amusing insight through the eyes of a young midshipman in all aspects of everyday life on board, from trollops in harbour, the mechanics of a square rigged ship, to firing rockets. I do hope that mr. Bertram will continue the story of Ben who eventually becomes an admiral.
(reviewed long after purchase)