By the Mast Divided : John Pearce

  • by David Donachie
  • Narrated by Peter Wickham
  • Series: John Pearce
  • 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

London: 1793. Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on her way to war. In the first few days, Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. And he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader. During an action-packed two weeks, as HMS Brilliant chases a French privateer across the English Channel, these disparate men form friendships that will last a lifetime.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Might not be what you think

This isn't an action series. The sea battle aspect of this series is not the focus. Rather, this series is a work of historical interest which illuminates the life of the times and the politics of the times. If history interests you, then you are in the right place. If you want sea battles and dashing heroes, you best look elsewhere.
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- Jeffrey

Historical Novel 1793 Royal Navy

Donachie is a new author for me and this is book one in his series about the Royal Navy in 1793. The protagonist is John Pearce, who is press ganged into the Navy. He is placed on HMS Brilliant, a frigate on its way to war against the French. John forms friendships with a group of fellow press-ganged landlubbers. They form a gang called “The Pelican’s” with the aim to look out after each other. They are pressed enlisted men so are the lowest of the low aboard the ship. John shines as he uses his natural skills to help in whatever situation they are in and is a natural leader.

As the first book in a series I expected there would be more time spent on character building and back story. Donachie cleverly weaves these fictional characters into a true historical situation. There is action, the book bogs down at times but most often it is well paced. The book ends in a cliffhanger and sets up for book two. The story shows the harder side of the life of a gang press man at sea. The story is compelling and kept my attention. Peter Wickham does a good job narrating the story.
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- Jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-03-2007
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books