Some excellent historical material is wasted in this fictionalized biography of Prince Pupert of Ravaris, nephew to Charles I of England, and an extraordinary 17th century figure who was a scientist and artist as well as a military and naval genius. In command of a specially picked brigade in the English Civil War, he might have saved his uncle's crown (and life) had he not been frustrated by professional jealousies and by intrigues in Charles' court. After the King's execution, he became a pirate on the high seas, raiding Roundhead ships and sending the proceeds to the exiled court in France. Later, he lived as a recluse in a German city, seeing only the itinerant art dealer who bought his mizzatints. He returned to England, high office, and a distinguished old age at the Restoration of the Stuarts in 1660... At apparently obligatory intervals in the story, the author contrives to introduce romantic interest. His women (two bad, and one good) have a disturbing habit of speaking in a fashion which is closer to the romance of the pulps than the period.