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Summoned to the Admiralty by Sir Edward Pellew, Captain Adam Bolitho is ordered to sail his 46-gun frigate Unrivalled into African waters to aid His Majesty's campaign against slave-runners. Preoccupied with avenging his uncle Richard's death while confronting an entrenched adversary and the aggressive opposition of the Algerian overlord, he fears he may be setting his crew on a course of doom.
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It is 1792, over ten years since Britain's defeat by the American colonies, and the bitter humiliation still sticks in the Admiralty's craw. Now brutal smugglers, many of them naval deserters, occupy the Channel, plying their trade between England and France. Richard Bolitho's mission: to take three speedy topsail cutters and fight the treacherous raiders off the coast of Kent.
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October 1789, and war clouds thunder over Europe when Richard Bolitho steers the Tempest into the perilous waters of the Great South Sea. To protect vulnerable English shipping lanes from her seagoing enemies, he must face the hazards of fickle winds, pirates, and savage islanders.
4) Man of War
In 1817, every harbor and estuary in Antigua is filled with ghostly ships, superfluous in the aftermath of war. In this uneasy peace, Adam Bolitho is offered the 74-gun Athena, a notoriously "unlucky" ship, and as flag-captain to Vice-Admiral Sir Graham Bethune he once more follows his destiny to the Caribbean.
February 1806: Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho carries the news of Trafalgar to southern Africa, where he is to aid British ground forces in any way he can to retake Cape Town from the Dutch. Impatient to be home, Bolitho decides yet again that the boldest measures are best, and proves to the army that brave men do not die in vain.
Copenhagen, 1800. After seven years of cruel war against France, Britain's long-standing ally, Denmark, suddenly poses a threat. The scene of battle shifts to the Baltic where the British navy encounters the bitter hardship of blockade duty.
Sir Richard Bolitho returns from a wearing campaign in North American waters to take up a command in Malta. As England's long war with Napoleon reaches its end, will Richard Bolitho's longing for peace-both public and personal-be fulfilled?
Spring 1802, and the Peace Treaty of Amiens, signed only a few weeks earlier, is already showing signs of collapse. Britain and France wrangle over the return of colonial possessions won and lost during their long, bloody war and in the little 64-gun Achates, Vice-Admiral Richard Bolitho sails for America and the Caribbean.
Portsmouth, 1782. His Britannic Majesty's frigate, Phalarope, is ordered to assist the hard-pressed squadrons in the Caribbean. Aboard is her new commander-Richard Bolitho. To all appearances the Phalarope is everything a young captain could wish for, but beneath the surface she is a deeply unhappy ship-her wardroom torn by petty greed and ambition, her deckhands suspected of cowardice under fire and driven to near-mutiny by senseless ill-treatment....
10) Beyond the Reef
March 1806: Napoleon holds Portugal and threatens his old ally Spain. Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho is dispatched once more to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a permanent naval force.
February 1813: As American privateers pick off British and Canadian ships in the wake of the War of 1812, Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho returns to Halifax to defend Crown property. In the cold waters off Nova Scotia, he fights fruitless skirmishes with men of the frontier, all the while longing for peace.
Three novels in one! Sixteen-year-old Richard Bolitho joins the British Royal Navy as a young midshipman. Follow his adventures as he undergoes a severe initiation into the dangerous world of the great sailing warships! 1. Richard Bolitho: Midshipman 1772: a young Richard Bolitho joins the 74-gun Gorgon. Naive and untested, Bolitho must learn the ways of the navy quickly if he is to survive. 2. Midshipman Bolitho and the Avenger 1773: Bolitho returns...
Soon after taking part in the dramatic capture of Martinique in the Caribbean, Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho is next despatched to the African coast to gather a flotilla and stop French attacks on British trade routes. But Bolitho must contend with more than Britain's old enemy-he must also face the hatred of his flag captain and betrayal by a man he once counted on as his friend.
14) The Flag Captain
April 1797, Falmouth Bay. As France continues her bitter struggle for supremacy on land and sea, the Royal Navy receives a crippling blow at home: the Great Mutiny. Returning home after eighteen-months' service, Flag Captain Richard Bolitho finds himself at the center of the crisis.
The year is 1793, and England is once again at war. For Richard Bolitho, the renewal of hostilities with France means a fresh command and the chance for action after months of inactivity.
As the American Revolution rages on the mainland, the British Navy prepares for action at sea. Against a growing fleet of American and French privateers, the navy must maintain its blockade of Washington's vital military supplies. Caught up in the turmoil, junior officer Richard Bolitho finds himself having to make momentous decisions in the heat of battle-decisions that could affect the lives of many men and, perhaps, even the fate of nations.
17) Enemy in Sight!
Aboard the Hyperion, Richard Bolitho sets sail with an untrained crew for blockade duty off France. Unfortunately, his superior, Commodore Mathias Pelham-Martin, is an incompetent egotist whose petty hostilities jeopardize the operation of an entire fleet.
In 1774, Richard Bolitho is a newly appointed Third Lieutenant, joining the 28-gun frigate Destiny. Dispatched on a secret mission, Destiny and her company face the hazards of conspiracy, treason, and piracy. It is amidst the broadside battles and clashes of swords that Bolitho learns to accept his new responsibilities as a King's officer.
19) Colours Aloft!
Falmouth, September 1803: As Bolitho faces the grim reality of war at close quarters, he will be called upon to anticipate the strategies of the French fleet. But the conflict has also taken on a personal note, reviving his vendetta with the French Admiral, Jobert, who once commanded the Argonaute.
20) Second to None
In the days immediately following Waterloo, the British fleet confronts a new threat: Algerian pirates preying on hapless merchant ships. Adam Bolitho, Admiral Richard Bolitho's nephew and heir, finds himself in command of Unrivalled, a new kind of frigate-sleek, fast, and heavily armed.