The Privateersman

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Fireship Press, 2010 - Fiction - 276 pages
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The Privateersman, written in 1846, was the last of Frederick Marryat's nautically oriented novels, although one of his best non-nautical works, Children of the New Forest, still lay ahead of him. Privateers were essentially legalized pirates. They functioned like the illegal variety; but they carried a document from their government authorizing them to prey on the merchant ships of a specific enemy country. This document is what kept them from being hung as pirates should they be caught. After capturing a ship, they would bring it into an approved port where the ship's goods, along with the ship itself, would be sold. The government got a cut, the ship's officers and crew got a cut, and the investors got a return on their money which allowed them to send the privateer out again. The Privateersman is set in the early 1700s and gives us a keen insight into the world of privateering. Combine that insight with nonstop action and Marryat's unique dry wit, and you have a tremendously entertaining read.
 

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About the author (2010)

Frederick Marryat was born on July 10, 1792 in London, England. He entered the Royal Navy at the age of 14 and served with distinction in many parts of the world before retiring in 1830 with the rank of captain. From 1832 to 1835, he edited the Metropolitan Magazine. His first novel, The Naval Officer, was published in 1829. His other adult novels include Mr. Midshipman Easy, The Kings Own, Newton Forster, Peter Simple, Jacob Faithful, and The Phantom Ship. He also wrote a number of children's books including Masterman Ready, Settlers in Canada, The Mission, The Children of the New Forest, and The Little Savages. He travelled in Canada and the United States from 1837 to 1839. Afterward, he recorded his impressions in A Diary in America. He died on August 9, 1848.

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