(EDIT: Since writing this post the book title has changed to The Fireships of Gerontas)
In this, my second tome, I have continued the story of actual historical events directly from the end of my first book: that one concluded with the first battle to preserve the Greek island of Samos from Turk invasion on 17th August 1824. This story describes the great sea battle of 10th September in the Bay of Gerontas which finally thwarted Ottoman efforts to capture Samos; it ends with the hurricane which struck Britain on 22nd November.
In this second, factually-based story in my own series I have endeavoured to endow it with a trifle more of Patrick O’Brian’s essential and complex essence; I have strived to attain his rich eloquence, customarily replete with diverse linguistic faux pas and rife with humorous conversational and other ambiguities together with his remarkable ability to fascinate with an infinity of detail. The reader will be the judge of whether I have succeeded.
There are a great many books about historical conflicts, both factual and fiction. As an extreme generalisation, it is true to say that few of them examine in any depth the deleterious effects on the men at the sharp end: those determined, brave souls who experience close combat, many of whom become wounded in doing so or experience the loss of dear comrades. These are men (and women) who, for the most part, must and do continue to persevere with considerable bravery throughout the very worst of life’s experiences, both during and after the traumatic events they encounter. This story, though fiction, strives to touch upon this oft neglected issue of warfare and the painful burdens of the enduring aftermath.
This book is dedicated to all those who served in the 1982 war in the South Atlantic, to everyone on both sides of that bleak, wintry conflict.