'In Stockwin's hands the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world' - Guardian
Thomas Kydd was promoted to acting lieutenant at the bloody Battle of Camperdown in October 1797. Now, he must sit an examination to confirm his rank - or face an inglorious return before the mast.
But this is only the first of many obstacles for a man who was pressed into the King's Service and discovered a calling for the sea. Kydd is from humble origins, yet he attains the lofty heights of the quarterdeck as an officer in His Majesty's Navy. If he is to avoid spending the rest of his career as a tarpaulin officer, he must also become a gentleman.
Kydd and his enigmatic friend Nicholas Renzi set sail in HMS Tenacious for the North American station. Aboard the old 64-gun ship, Kydd comes to doubt he will ever match up to the high-born gentlemen officers.
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Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force. After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.JulianStockwin.com.