By David Donachie
London 1793: younger firebrand John Pearce is illegally pressganged from the shelter of the Pelican tavern to a brutal existence aboard HMS remarkable, a frigate on its method to warfare. within the first few days Pearce discovers the military is a global within which he can prosper. yet he isn't by myself; he's interested in a bunch of fellows - fly Charlie Taverner; quiet Ben Walker; drained outdated Abel Scrivens; the bairn of the gang, Rufus Dommet; the droll, tricky Irish laborer, Michael O'Hagan; and the bumptious Gherson - pressed males like him, who finally shape an particular gun workforce, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected chief. in the course of an action-packed weeks, as HMS fantastic chases a French privateer around the English Channel, this disparate team of guys shape friendships that might final an entire life. David Donachie cleverly weaves those fictional characters into real old occasions to supply a compelling and completely soaking up introductory novel.
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Extra info for By the Mast Divided
This be the least you'll get if you break that commandment, and my mates, who will row this boat, can employ their oars, if need be, to ensure silence. " "Easy to enter a dead soul as a volunteer, " wheezed a pinched-faced sailor who stood beside Coyle. Pearce recognised his voice as the Midland one. " "Belay that, " said Coyle, without much force, his eyes now fixed on Pearce, who was staring at him hard. " Pearce thought to make another protest, but decided it would be useless. If he could not persuade the officer called Barclay, then he had no chance with his inferiors, and the result would probably only be another blow to his already aching head.
This was no time for causes, for reflections on the lot of the disadvantaged the situation he had very seriously to worry about at this moment was his own. " Charlie Taverner was made to feel foolish because he was grinning, one hand raised and cupped to grip imaginary flesh, at a neighbour who was not responding. In fact the face before him, under that odd hat, seemed devoid of expression, even the eyes, grey and steady with dark circles underneath failed to flicker. Pearce knew he should relax to stare at this stranger in such a cold way would not aid the obscurity he craved but he could not.
Do not deny it, " Carruthers shouted, 'do not deny that you are a damned lecher and a rogue! I gave you employment when you were strapped, got you out of Newgate gaol as an act of Christian charity, only to find out later that I am not the first to fall for the lies you spill with such ease. God only knows how many people you have dunned, how many good women you have corrupted. You have left behind you a trail of broken hearts and damaged households.