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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Dudley Pope - Ramage and the Dido

Review written by Brian Lowen & read live on the bookshow 14th May 2015

One of the series of books featuring Captain Ramage during the Napoleonic wars in the glorious days of fighting sail.

An enjoyable story centred on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean which at this time was owned by France.

Ramage is now the Captain of a ship of the line, a 74 gun man of war in the Royal Navy who has been ordered by the Admiral in Barbados to blockade the port on Martinique to prevent the French getting out to greet and protect an expected convoy from France, desperately needed to supply the island with the essential materials of warfare.

Dudley Pope goes to great lengths to explain the sailing terms and ship details in what seemed to me to be an unrealistic way, by his wife asking Ramage lots of questions when he is commissioning the ship in Portsmouth before setting out for the West Indies. He has been a Captain for several years  and I thought that his wife would have known all these details by now!

To me Captain Ramage is really too good to be true in that everything he does turns out to be a great success and this does not strike true with me. I have been following the stories of Julian Stockwin and his hero Captain Kydd which I find much more realistic and enjoyable.

But maybe I am being a bit too harsh as this is an enjoyable story but to me it lacks that cutting edge so necessary in stories of this type.

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