1809 Ben Brown Rite of Passage

1809 Ben Brown Rite of Passage

by William Bertram


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The story starts strangely enough with our hero as an old man dragged out of retirement to lead a flotilla to fight the Russians during the Crimean War. As the ship is leaving port, he befriends a scared young midshipman away from home for the first time. This reminded him of long forgotten memories when he was in a similar situation, especially when he finds out that the youngster is a relative of his old friend and mentor.
From that point on, the reader is transferred back to the time when our hero was just setting out from the port of Plymouth, strangely enough not on a Royal Navy ship but on an East-Indiaman trading with India and China. Soon however, the tranquil voyage is suspended as a Royal Navy ship stops the vessel to press some seamen. From then on, with some good fortune he is allowed to join the RN as a midshipman.
On board his new ship, he experiences the horrors of serving on a perpetually damp, cramped leaking frigate, along with mixing with men who would think nothing of robbing you and throwing you overboard. Our hero experiences the hard life of a sailor during those troubled times and is a keen observer but not a participant in the arrival of women and thieving traders on board when his ship moors in Portsmouth. Yet, even the repulsive sights he witnesses, does not damp his cheekiness and enthusiasm for the service. Many are the strange and terrifying adventures on that frigate; many are the humorous incidents too.
Eventually, they arrive at Chatham Navy Yard only to be told that they have been given a consort, an old captured Russian Bomb vessel with an unpronounceable name. Our hero is transferred to this ship to find out that it also a rocket ship. Now the adventure really starts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781500579210
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/18/2014
Series: Ben Brown
Pages: 412
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

William Bertram has for the last forty years researched Britain's late 18th and early 19th century Royal Navy; he specialised in the design and performance of wooden warships. Now attending Plymouth University for his degree in Maritime History and Marine Technology, he pursued this specialty further. His dissertation on the sailing qualities of 19th century warships was rapidly accepted and broadcast on Television and Radio as well as being published in the New Scientist and in journals all around the world. During his time at University, he satisfied his academic curiosity and his need to eat, by becoming a guide at Plymouth Naval Base Museum and a receptionist at Fort Bovisand.
The next years were fulfilling as a teacher, but retirement threatened and so William returned to his major academic love, maritime history, luckily he was in a city steeped in the past glories of her relationship with the sea. It was at this point in William's history that he decided to write books based on the history of Plymouth and its seafaring people.
Resolving to write a mixture of factual and fiction books that progress through several generations of the same family, he centered his rags to riches stories around the Brown family. Using factual evidence, he interwove the characters around Plymouth's 18th century history and its streets. This clearly involved many long days of research and fact-finding, however, eventually he wrote his first novel and swiftly followed it with four more in rapid succession. The sixth is on the stocks at time of writing.
Nevertheless, all three books which William wrote are based on an 18th century Plymouthian family who are clearly fictional, however, this can never be said of the novel's background, here William has meticulously used old maps, drawings and records to build up an historic environment for his characters to exist in. He has even taken photographs of the streets and places mentioned in the stories and these are to be found on his web site, (www.agesofplymouth.co.uk).
Similarly with the three plays that have been also been composed, these also revolve about the same family, but are set in different centuries, but all involve the Plymouth Brown family and all deal with a period of historical significance.

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