Wednesday, 21 June 2000

Alexander Kent: In Gallant Company (1977)

Edition: Hutchinson & Co, 1977
Review number: 528

Although written five years later, the events of In Gallant Company come immediately before those of Sloop of War, detailing the adventures of Richard Bolitho as a naval lieutenant during the American War of Independence.

In Gallant Company is extremely typical of the genre of naval novels set in the eighteenth century, complete with all the standard elements: a gallant hero, pig-headed superior officers, occasional scenes of brutality, and young men either disgracing themselves or proving themselves. It is perhaps slightly more episodic than usual, the periods of boring routine between moments of action being omitted between chapters which could stand on their own as short stories. It gives the impression of something dashed off without a great deal of effort by an author thoroughly at home in his chosen genre.

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