The Lord Ramage series: Introduction

by Peter on January 18, 2011

Dudley Pope's series about Lord Ramage is set between the years 1796 and 1807. The books in the series are well written and researched, and Pope has vast knowledge about the era, the Royal navy, sailing ships and ship handling. And his knowledge of the subject matter - both historical and nautical - shows through in every chapter.

Lord Ramage himself is an interesting and very likable character. Unlike most of the heroes in the naval fiction series about the age of sail (often also refered to as the Napoleonic Age), as for example Richard Bolitho, Alan Lewrie, Horatio Hornblower, and Jack Aubrey, Ramage has an upper class background and is a lord. Lord Nicholas Ramage is the oldest son of the Tenth Earl of Blazey, Admiral of the White, and was born in 1775 at Blazey Hall, St. Kew, Cornwall. He entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman in 1788, at the age of thirteen. His upper class background and his title sometimes makes things difficult for him, as he also comes from a family with enemies.

In Pope's writing, luck plays a prominent part in the adventures. Sometimes, perhaps too great a part. Thus Lord Ramage always seem to be in the right place at the right time to be in the midst of the major events of the time. That said, taking this liberty allowed Pope to write a very interesting series of books, with lots of naval action.

Unfortunately the chronological sequence of the novels is not the same as the publication order, and I strongly recommend reading the books in chronological rather than publication sequence. Readers following the series should be aware of this problem. Therefore the years of events are listed as well in the listing of the books below.

Pope's writing is skilled, engaging and entertaining. Some of the plots are very clever! Also, the characters are good, well developed and they develop in the course of the series. The Ramage series is an interesting and entertaining addition to the navel fiction literature!

The Lord Ramage series is one of my personal favorites - I had great fun reading this series. It may well be the most entertaining of the nautical fiction series from the Age of Fighting Sail.


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