Captain Frederick Marryat of the Royal Navy well knew both the thunder of the broadside and the laughter of the gun room. Here he brings us a gripping tale "over which", said Charles Dickens on its first publication, "I have been chuckling, and grinning, and clenching my fists, and becoming warlike." The adventures of the mischievous young midshipman Percival Keene begin when he learns that the demanding Captain Delmar, a member of the wealthy and titled De Versely family, is actually his natural father. Stung by his father's refusal to acknowledge him, Keene sets about to win his father's love and acceptance and gain the family fortune. To do so, he survives shipwreck and capture by murderous pirates, fights duels of honor with his fellow officers, and battles against the French. Percival Keene is a thrilling ride through the exciting naval world of the Napoleonic wars.
"[Marryat] set[s] us in the midst of ships and men and sea and sky all vivid, credible, authentic." (Virginia Woolf)
"[Marryat's] adventures are enthralling; the rapidity of his action fascinates....His greatness is undeniable." (Joseph Conrad)
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This is a real treat