Category Archives: Richard Bolitho Novels

HMS Glatton Takes On All Comers

Captain Henry Trollope with the moratlly wounded Marine Captain Henry Ludlow Strangeways on the deck of HMS Glatton

Captain Henry Trollope with the moratlly wounded Marine Captain Henry Ludlow Strangeways on the deck of HMS Glatton


We’ve observed on several occasions that many of the incidents in novels set during the Age of Sail are heavily influenced by actual events. In most cases, the novel’s protagonist expands on the accomplishments of the actual character. In Ramages’s Diamond, Lord Ramage manages to turn the battery later known as HMS Fort Diamond into a combat multiplier that enables his mini-squadron consisting of his frigate, a prize frigate, and a prize sloop to snap up a French convoy and its escorts.

Alexander Kent, on the other hand, perhaps feeling that the actual event was too improbable, actually downplays Nelson’s use of one Spanish ship of the line as a bridge to board and take a second, larger Spanish ship of the line and has Richard Bolitho use a friendly brig as a bridge to board and take a French frigate.

Every once in a while, though, the novel’s protagonist makes out worse than the actual character.

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Filed under Age of Sail, Famous Ships, Horatio Hornblower Novels, Lord Ramage Novels, Naval Battles, Naval Fiction, Naval Gunnery, Naval Weapons, Richard Bolitho Novels, The Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story

One of the most interesting aspects of the naval fiction set in the wars of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is that the majority of actions described actually happened in one form or another.

Following the tradition of American radio legend Paul Harvey, I’ll try to tease some of these incidents out of realm of fiction and show how, in some cases, the fictional version is more believable than the actual event.

In our first episode, Alexander Kent’s Richard Bolitho takes the role of Horatio Nelson at the Battle of St. Vincent.

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Filed under Age of Sail, Naval Battles, Richard Bolitho Novels, The Rest of the Story