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.