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Book Note: C. Northcote Parkinson, The Guernseyman

I read this book about 1-Mar-2011. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1973. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 15:36:07 PDT.

This is book 1 of the "Richard Delancey" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


First, at least in one sense, of this classic series of wooden navy books. (Strange copyright page; it gives a 1982 copyright, but says first published in the United States in 1973.) Huh, the plot thickens; Wikipedia also lists this one as from 1982, and shows the first published to be The Devil To Pay (which is the title I remember knowing about first, and the first one I owned) in 1973.

The cover quotes on these tend to be transferring the mantle of Hornblower to Richard Delancey. The thing is, O'Brian had alredy published Master and Commander and Post Captain by 1973; the first Delancey came out the same year as HMS Surprise. But the O'Brian series for some reason got off to a slow start, though it was the one that broke through into the mainstream eventually. I knew about Parkinson long before I knew about O'Brian. Hell, I knew about Alexander Kent before I knew about O'Brian.

Parkinson, at least, avoids O'Brian's problem with running out of war; he starts much earlier. This one takes place during the American Revolution, in New York and environs. Delancey is assigned mostly to shore duties. He gets to meet his American relatives, who are rich loyalists, and they accept him as a poor cousin.

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David Dyer-Bennet