The Tudor family, of coastal Maine, in the 1780's, during the period when the young country is involved in running British blockades, aiding the Revolutionary French and building legend in the shipping trade. Old Llewellyn, master and father of a lively brood, rules with fairness -- but unswerving determination -- the fortunes of Jared, who falls in love with Baron de Castin's granddaughter; Dodapher, mentally retarded, vicious, determined to captain his own ship; Miriam and Dillwyn, twins; Selina, hoyden -- and sends them where he wills. Jared is pressed aboard one of his father's armed merchantmen, has encounters with the British, runs afoul of his father's plans for his marriage, becomes involved in duels, is betrayed by his half-brother, Dodapher, is jailed in France and escapes to rescue their ship and bring her home in safety. It is a long colorful tale that tackles the issues of the day resourcefully, maintains a brisk pace in spite of its many lines of development, shifts scene from Maine to Charlestown, to Philadelphia, to France, and keeps a large cast of characters well under control. Good example of historical -- romantic -- action novel, with much the appeal of the Van Wyck Mason novels. A fine first novel.