King, Ship, and Sword is the 16th and latest of Dewey Lambdin’s naval adventures chronicling the career of Alan Lewrie.
We left Lewrie in Baltic Gambit in the aftermath of the Battle of Copenhagen as the captain of HMS Thermopylae. He survives the battle with his professional reputation enhanced but staring the wreckage of his marriage and close friendships in the face.
King, Ship, and Sword picks up with Thermopylae on close blockade of the Dutch ports as peace becomes more and more inevitable. Lewrie, as usual, is in a state of disfavor with the powers at Whitehall and his ship is one of the last to be called home and paid off when the Peace of Amiens is signed.
When we left Dewey Lambdin’s naval character Alan Lewrie in A King’s Trade he has just returned from his convoy mission to the Cape of Good Hope something of a minor celebrity due to his victory over a French frigate larger than HMS Proteus. While denied a knighthood because of the odor attached to his personal life, he was rewarded with a new command: HMS Savage, a 36-gun 18-pounder frigate and sent back to sea to get him out of sight.
Major spoilers follow.
HMS Zebra providing covering fire to Commander Robert Faulknor at Fort Louis, Martinique
We’ve mentioned a few times that the writers of naval fiction set during the Age of Sail have an immense amount of material available to them that only needs minor adjustments to read as fiction.
For instance, the HMS Cockerel, an Alan Lewrie novel by Dewey Lambdin, there is an interesting scene set at the end of the novel. The setting is a dinner aboard the flagship of Admiral Sir Samuel Hood. Lieutenant Lewrie is fresh from the siege of Toulon where he managed to capture a French corvette. The corvette is named San Culotte (in real life a 118-gun first rate) and Lewrie jokes about how it will have to be renamed as it would quickly be known as the “Bare Assed” by British sailors. Hood is amused and renames the Sans Culotte the HMS Jester in honor of Lewrie’s wit and appoints him into her as commander.
Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson is one of several historical characters with whom Dewey Lambdin’s character Alan Lewrie has significant contact.
We haven’t profiled Nelson yet mostly because he is so well known but we’ve found the portrayal of Nelson by Lambdin to be one of the most fascinating we’ve seen in fiction and a welcome change.
Now uploaded is the list of ships, characters, and literary references from Dewey Lambdin’s Alan Lewrie adventure HMS Cockerel. The file is at scribd.com.
The Gun Ketch covers the year 1793 in the career of Dewey Lambdin’s naval character, Alan Lewrie.
As the story opens in January, 1793. Lewrie has been living for 4 years as a tenant farmer on the estate of Caroline’s uncle, Phineas Chiswick. Lewrie is bored. His grandmother has died living him well off financially. He has three children. He was called up in 1791 for six weeks during the Nootka Sound crisis but the rest of the time he’s been on half pay. He also has feelings of inadequacy as he simply isn’t mastering farming the way he did seamanship, even though the has applied himself diligently. He and Caroline, because of the circumstances of their wedding (see The Gun Ketch) finds himself socially isolated for the local gentry.
As war with Revolutionary France becomes inevitable he receives a message from the Admiralty directing him to report to London for an assignment.
Major spoilers follow.