Here we have a full-length book by an excellent author at the very top of his powers. The time is set at the end of the Napoleonic War, and continues into the ensuing peace.
The young hero is first found fishing in a Dartmoor stream, when he is interrupted by the arrival of a young Frenchman, who, it turns out, has just escaped from Dartmoor, where the prisoners-of-war were being kept. Rodd helps him to hide from pursuit.
Rodd is living with his uncle, who is a doctor, but who also is a researcher in Natural History. He receives a Government grant to buy a ship and travel about in it collecting specimens. On the first trip the weather turns nasty and they have to take shelter in a French port.
Later in the voyage they meet up with a strange brig, which they realise they had seen while in France. But she is in difficulty, having been holed below the waterline in an engagement. At this point they discover that her officers include the boy we met in Chapter One, and his father, the Count. The hole is repaired by the skill of the British seamen.
There’s lots more to the story, and we won’t spoil it for you, but we do full-heartedly recommend it to you!
Get it for an enjoyable read. Features some illustrations.
Technical side note: I ameliorated my epub books with a better working internal TOC.
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