Tag Archives: The King’s Coat

Thoughts on King, Ship, and Sword

King, Ship, and Sword is a decidedly mixed bag.

On the one hand, it doesn’t move the development of Alan Lewrie forward much, if at all. The major focus of the novel seems to be tying up lose ends, like Lewrie’s rocky marriage and the ever diminishing villain Guillaume Choundas, and setting the stage for the second half of Lewrie’s life which, if he avoids court-martial, should see him hoist his flag by the time Waterloo rolls around.

It is obvious that CharitÄ— de Guilleri and Phoebe Aretino are reentering the picture. Lewrie seems to be building an expertise in New Orleans and environs that one suspects will result in him being present for the Battle of New Orleans. As the War of 1812 looms, he will undoubtedly encounter his son who, at last look, was an officer in the US Navy.

Now Lewrie (quick close your eyes if you don’t want to read a spoiler) has two sons in the Navy which will certainly cause him some anxious moments.

His roguish father has started putting his affairs in order which hints at his upcoming demise. Unfortunately, looks like Sir Hugo is destined to die peacefully in his own bed rather than violently in someone else’s.

His half-brother, Gerald, has been absent since Lewrie had him press-ganged into the navy. His half-sister, Belinda, hasn’t made an appearance since the first novel, The King’s Coat. Even though she is pushing 40 she is still a highly desired hooker. It’s hard to believe she won’t reappear at some point.

On the whole, this is not the best of the series. The naval action seems to be an afterthought. A respected, upright Lewrie isn’t quite as much fun as the devious, edgy Lewrie we’ve known in the past. And Lambdin makes some technical errors, like complaining about the “purser’s pound”, i.e. rations being issued at 14 rather than 16 ounces to the pound, a practice which ceased with the Spithead Mutiny. He also describes the cheese in terms that could only be Suffolk cheese which was dropped by the Victualling Board in 1758.

But we’re waiting for the next in the series, The Invasion Year.

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The Alan Lewrie Novels: A Perspective

I’ve recently finished working my way through Dewey Lambdin’s series of novels following the career of his character Alan Lewrie. I stumbled onto the first by accident, was captured in the first paragraph, back in November and to a certain extent that novel, The King’s Coat, crystallized some ideas that had been floating around in my head about providing a researched resource covering life at sea, particularly life in the British navy, in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

It seems that I have nearly a year to wait until the next installment arrives, so I’ll close this chapter with my perspective on the novel and the character.

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Troubled Waters

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.
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Ships, Characters, and Cultural References from The King’s Coat

The list of ships, characters, and cultural references from Dewey Lambdin’s Alan Lewrie novel, The King’s Coat is available at scribd.com.

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Major Update of The King’s Coat

I just completed a substantial revision of the original post on this blog, The King’s Coat.

When I first read The King’s Coat I hadn’t intended on undertaking this project. At some point, as I was reading The French Admiral, I decided to begin writing plot summaries and lists of characters from the novels. The King’s Coat was missing. So a couple of weeks ago I decided to re-read The King’s Coat and do the synopsis.

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The King’s Commission

The King’s Commission continues the story of Lewrie’s first term of service in the Royal Navy. It begins in January 1782 and takes Lewrie’s career through September 1783. In this novel we see more of Lewrie’s development into a skilled naval officer and a gradual maturing of his character.

The novel opens with the Battle of St. Kitts.

Major spoilers follow.

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