A Question of Duty
A story set in the time of Nelson’s Navy. England rules the waves, but the French Navy yet remains a potent threat, especially their own powerful frigates. Also, another threat is creeping Northward; slaver/pirates in fast galleys from the North African coast, raiding North to capture for slavery the highly valuable women and children of Northern Europe.
Into this, Captain Reuben Argent sails his first command, HMS Ariadne, which he brilliantly uses to capture La Mouette, a French 42 gun frigate. An auspicious start, but all is not well at home. The Enclosures movement could force his family from their farm, and his influential Admiral is their immediate neighbour, who hates the Argent family. On top is Argent’s rivalry with “Flogger Cheveley” the Captain of the frigate Herodotus.
The day comes when Argent has to make a career threatening choice, either, as ordered, to take a vital despatch to Wellington at the fastest possible speed or search for the slaver that has just captured Cornish women and children, including members of his own family. In the background is the smuggling of linen from Ireland to France and his relations with the feisty Sinead Malley and the society beauty Charlotte Willoughby.
Published: 23 June 2014
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