Richard Bolitho, Midshipman, by Alexander Kent

by Peter on December 12, 2010

Richard Bolito is man-wise, humane, decisive and courageous. He is the central character in Alexander Kent’s series about Bolitho. All the briny echoes of fictional marine heroes can be heard again in these rip-rousing tales of naval warfare as the stalwart Bolitho gains the trust of his crew and admiration of his superiors. This is a wonderful series for readers who, like me, wants adventure and grand tales, and likes historical fiction novels from the age of sail!

Bolitho is a hero of the old school. In this, the first book chronologically, Richard Bolitho Midshipman Bolitho, by Alexander Kent is a midshipman, and he must deal with pirates, a lieutenant who hates him but stilltakes credit for his ideas, and, as well his first command. Working hard to improve himself and learn, he is sucessful. But the learning is painful and costly to him.

There is some background, both about Richard Bolitho and the Navy here. Bolitho comes from a solid naval family, with proud traditions. And, there is a lot of knowledge about the functioning of the Royal Navy at the time being imparted in this novel. For instance about its structure and the necessity for firm discipline.

This is a great novel by Alexander Kent, holding a lot of promise for the series. And, as we all know by now – the series is excellent; one of the great nautical fiction series! You may want to start with this book and read it chronologically, even thought that is not required – each book in the series stands on its own feet.

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