MATTHEW EARLY by Alexander Laing


Email this review


Companion volume to Jonathan Eagle, lusty tale of derring- do against a background of an infant USA (and published in 1955), this is set to outstrip its predecessor. Where that seemed three novels in one, this could well he four: the tender love story of Barbara, a New England girl, whose obsession with the cause of emancipation almost cost her happiness; the story of Matthew Early, early dedicated to serve his cousin, Geoffrey, and almost unable to loose the bounds when Geoffrey is killed, and uncertain where his desire lies- in serving Barbara and her cause- or the young Navy in time of uncertainty of peace of war; the dubious venture against the Barbary pirates, with Matthew serving under Bainbridge in Mediterranean waters; and finally, Matthew's mad and headlong adventure in pursuit of a London light love, Leonora, lately sent to the Orient to wed a baronet, and equally passionate pursuit of easy wealth- whether to buy freedom or slavery for himself is of uncertain direction. Parts of the story seem credible enough in days of other standards of morality. But the whole of the Leonora adventure is sultry and lurid and unpleasant and wholly unbelievable. Even the salty immersion of the final chapters seems in sufficient to wash Matthew's sullied character clean again.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1957
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce