|The Battle of Trafalgar|
(William Clarkson Stanfield)
The frigate, outsailed then outshot, spent a last bit of Gallic pique upon Jester, rippling out one final, irregular broadside. A crash aft and below, as a ball scored at last, caving in the transom timbers abaft the stores rooms and officers' quarters, a great thonk as the ball continued to carom down the length of the empty berth deck. Glass shattered as another exploded the larboard quarter-galleries -both Lewrie's and the gunroom's- toilets. Splashes and feathers to either beam around the stern, and a further hollow thonk and high whine as a ball plowed a furrow down Jester's side. - Copyright 1997 Dewey LambdinA ripping good yarn so far.
|HMS Temeraire and HMS Victory at Trafalgar|
(Detail from 'Hold the Line' by Richard Grenville)
The cover bore a painting of fighting ships so I took a peek. I read a few words and I was hooked. So far the book has me riveted.
Oddly enough, the first book I ever read concerning the age of fighting sail I also got for free. It was on Okinawa in the last century (and yes, I do like saying that) and was given to me by a fellow airman. A Purdue man as I recall (the college, not the chicken concern) who had left that august institution short of the credits required for a degree.
As I remember it, he, like myself, was far too fond of beer to make time to actually study. So he, like me, left university to pursue other endeavors.
He, like me, wound up in the Air Force and at Kadena Air Base.
As I recall he had three novels which he no longer had any use for (having read them already) so he asked if I was interested. The concept of something for free aroused my inner Scotsman. Of course I said "Yes, render them hither!" (Or words to that effect...)
That set me off down a long road following the career of a certain Richard Bolitho of His Majesty's Royal Navy. That is a long series written by Douglas Reeman under the pen name Alexander Kent. I believe I have read most of that series.
Mr. Reeman was a officer in the Royal Navy in World War II and has also written books on naval warfare during that time period. The man knows the sea very well. Checking his Wikipedia article (linked above), I see he also has a series featuring the Royal Marines. As I know an ex-Bootneck or two, I feel honor bound to start reading that series as well.
Oddly enough I have never read any of Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey novels. Though I have seen the movie, Master and Commander, the big screen seldom does a good book justice. So there's another series of books on my "to do" list.
Where oh where will I find the time?
Or the ready coin?
But do it I must, because...
Belay that! What about Hornblower, man? C. S. Forester and all that?
Ye gads, another series I need to read!
I'm all aback!
Hands aloft! Loose topsails!
Of course, I need to do all that and keep the blog up and running. I have responsibilities dontcha know?
Oh and a job, a paying job, mustn't forget that now!