Commander by Stephen Taylor
Published March 26, 2015
- Author Stephen Taylor
I might be admitting some ignorance here but I didn’t know Pellew was a real person, I assumed he was just a character in the Hornblower stories. Finding this book was a revelation, and reading it was fascinating. I’ve found history books, and biography books in particular, difficult to get on with. They have to really grab my attention to keep me reading.
This one managed just that. With plenty of foreshadowing, a great tale of the man who lived in Nelson’s shadow, some swashbuckling adventures and ultimately the tale of a good man who worked hard and never quite got the recognition he deserved.
I felt bad, at the end, for not knowing of Pellew, for assuming he was just Robert Lindsay in a three-cornered hat. But Lindsay’s portrayal was well done, showing all the good qualities that Pellew appeared to have. He wasn’t perfect, and that makes for an interesting portrayal of his life - the ups and downs of life at sea, not just caused by the waves beneath him.