THE PRIVATEER by Gordon Daviot


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The late author of Richard of and under the pseudonym- Josephine Tey- of a number of first rate mysteries, tells, in the form of a novel, of the privateering days of Henry Morgan. It starts when Henry, a Welshman sold into bondage in Barbados, is given his freedom and immediately joins fortunes with a motley group of men to engineer their capture of a Spanish ship. From there on Henry's career, an amazingly daring, dangerous and successful one, is followed as he captures other Spaniards, retakes Santa Catalina from the Spanish, is victorious over the impregnable Porto Bello- (even Drake failed here)- Maracaibo, and finally Panama City- after a long and harrowing march through the jungle across the isthmus. Besides all of this almost fantastic adventure- all true, there is a slight love story as Henry woos and marries his independent cousin. But nevertheless, the telling is so placid, the unpleasantness so subdued, the characters so sketchily drawn, that the story here is more bland than bold. Gordon Daviot obviously wanted to redeem, once and for all, the reputation of her hero- and this she has done. That she has made ideal rental library material out of what might have been something more is disappointing.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1952
Publisher: Macmillan