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Book Title: Ramage & the Guillotine|
The author of the book: Dudley Pope
Loaded: 1537 times
Reader ratings: 6.6
Edition: McBooks Press
Date of issue: October 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780935526813
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.59 MB
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This, the sixth novel in Dudley Pope's Ramage series, is an anomaly, at least based on the previous five novels. In this book, Ramage has no command of a ship, there is no action at sea and no wonderful descriptions of life aboard a sailing ship. Instead, there is a lot of commentary about smuggling by both the French and British between the two countries even as their countries were at war. There is commentary about the nature of the French Revolution and its effect on the lives of Frenchmen. There is commentary about the guillotine, its invention and its use. At times, these commentaries become a bit tedious - as there is little action.
Lt. Ramage is sent to France as a spy to determine the status of Napoleon's growing fleet of invasion vessels, which are supposed to land a French army on the shores of Britain to invade the country. Ramage takes along three of his stalwart crew: Jackson, Stafford and Rossi. They land in the port of Bourlogne with the assistance of a French smuggler. As one can tell from the title, the reader is held in suspense waiting for Ramage to come face to face with the guillotine.
I have really enjoyed Dudley Pope's novels in this series, but this one was a bit of a disappointment. I am hoping that the next in the series will return Ramage to sea in command of a fighting ship.
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Read information about the authorDudley Pope was born in Ashford, Kent.
By concealing his age, Pope joined the Home Guard aged 14 and at age 16 joined the Merchant Navy as a cadet. His ship was torpedoed the next year (1942). Afterwards, he spent two weeks in a lifeboat with the few other survivors.
After he was invalided out of the Merchant Navy, the only obvious sign of the injuries Pope had suffered was a joint missing from one finger due to gangrene. Pope then went to work for a Kentish newspaper, then in 1944 moved to The Evening News in London, where he was the naval and defence correspondent. From there he turned to reading and writing naval history.
Pope's first book, "Flag 4", was published in 1954, followed by several other historical accounts. C. S. Forester, the creator of the famed Horatio Hornblower novels, encouraged Pope to add fiction to his repertoire. In 1965, "Ramage" appeared, the first of what was to become an 18-novel series.
Pope took to living on boats from 1953 on; when he married Kay Pope in 1954, they lived on a William Fife 8-meter named Concerto, then at Porto Santo Stefano, Italy in 1959 with a 42-foot ketch Tokay. In 1963 he and Kay moved to a 53-foot cutter Golden Dragon, on which they moved to Barbados in 1965. In 1968 they moved onto a 54-foot wooden yacht named Ramage, aboard which he wrote all of his stories until 1985.
Pope died April 25, 1997 in Marigot, St. Martin. Both his wife and his daughter, Jane Victoria survived him.
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