Tag Archives: The King’s Privateer

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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A King’s Trade

The the aftermath of the mission covered in The Captain’s Vengeance, Dewey Lambdin’s naval hero, Alan Lewrie had returned to Jamaica to general acclaim. His seizure of the Spanish treasure ship had made himself and his superiors wealthy men and the piracy ring had been suppressed thereby demonstrating the long reach of the British navy. But his triumph was to be short-lived. In a private dinner with the deputy to the commander of the Jamaica Station, Lewrie finds that while the squadron is planning an exciting, and possibly profitable, mission against Spanish shipping, Lewrie will not be involved. Instead, he is being sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Major spoilers follow.

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Sea of Grey

Sea of Grey is the tenth of the Alan Lewrie novels by Dewey Lambdin.

A Sea of Grey picks up at the conclusion of King’s Captain. Regaining control of his ship in the aftermath of the mutiny at The Nore, Lewrie joins the squadron of Admiral Adam Duncan blockading the Dutch port of Texel.

Major spoilers follow.

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Jester’s Fortune

Jester’s Fortune picks up the career of Dewey Lambdin’s character, Alan Lewrie, where A King’s Commander ended.

It is 1796 and Admiral Sir John Jervis has just succeeded Admiral Sir William Hotham to command of the Mediterranean theater. A previous obscure Corsican artilleryman is beating the unbeatable Austrians like a rented mule and the various Italian states are falling like dominoes.

Jervis decides to send a small squadron into the Adriatic to harry French commerce and to demonstrate support to both Venice and Austria.

Major spoilers to follow.

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Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe

In the course of the career of Dewey Lambdin’s character Alan Lewrie he has contact with several notable personages of his time. This is not unreasonable as the Royal Navy was a relatively small and decidedly insular institution in an age where junior officers could expect to make the acquaintance of very senior officers or government ministers. As an aside, in the US Army from its inception until the vast expansion with the peacetime draft in 1940 it was expected that Regular Army officers passing through Washington, DC would make courtesy calls on the Secretary of War and the President, though this in practice usually meant the officer left a calling card.

Some of these personages become his patron, such as Admiral Sir Samuel Hood. Richard Howe, 1st Lord Howe is one of these real persons who helps the career of young Lieutenant Alan Lewrie along.

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The Gun Ketch

The Gun Ketch covers the years 1786-1789 in the career of Dewey Lambdin’s naval character, Alan Lewrie.

It opens with Lieutenant Alan Lewrie in England after his return from the Far East as chronicled in The King’s Privateer. While awaiting his new ship, the converted bomb ketch HMS Alacrity, he takes advantage of this opportunity to visit the Chiswick family, North Carolina loyalists with whom he became acquainted during the American Revolution (see The French Admiral) and with whom he renewed that acquaintance before his last commission. He finds the family well situated as tenant farmers on the Surrey estate of the brother of the family patriarch, with the older brother, Gouvernour, married into the family of the local squire, Sir Romney Embleton.

Major spoilers follow.
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Sea Dayaks and Lanun Rovers

Dayak Proa

Dayak Proa

The major theme of The King’s Privateer is piracy in the East Indies. While the novel introduces the element of the French positioning themselves as a prelude to the next round of warfare, the fact remains that piracy was endemic in those waters. And when Europeans encountered pirates it was not in the form of a single ship manned by buccaneers such as they might encounter in American or African waters but rather in the form of some dozen or so fast moving proas (pictured above) manned by several hundred warriors.

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Spratly Islands

We’ve just finished our plot summary of Dewey Lambdin’s The King’s Privateer, the fourth novel in the Alan Lewrie series.

Part of the story is set in the Spratlys. The Spratlys are an unhappy and inhospitable place whose current claim to fame is as a potential flashpoint for a war between Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and communist China.

The island visited by Lewrie sounds similar to this one.

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Alan Lewrie Characters

The file of characters, ships, and literary references from Dewey Lambdin’s Alan Lewrie novels has been updated to include the King’s Privateer.

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The King’s Privateer

The King’s Privateer, the fourth in the Alan Lewrie series by Dewey Lambdin, picks up with Alan’s return to London after bringing the HMS Shrike back from the West Indies (See The King’s Commission) and seeing her paid off and laid up in ordinary. The American Revolutionary War is over and Europe is momentarily at peace.

Lewrie is enjoying his life as a gentleman of leisure in the winter of 1783-84 but all of that changes rapidly.

Major spoilers to follow.

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