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 Julian Stockwin: "The Admiral's Daughter" 
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Post Julian Stockwin: "The Admiral's Daughter"
"The Admiral's Daughter" by Julian Stockwin is the eighth in the Thomas Kydd series.

Possible Spoilers Below:

While I am a big fan of this series, I found this particular book the least interesting of Kydd's adventures. Don't get me wrong, I liked it... just not as much as the others.

I read an interview with Stockwin not long ago (I think at McBooks Press) in which the author mentioned that his original plans for a 10 book series had changed to a longer one due to the popularity of Kydd. This book appears to be one of the "filler" types and deals with smugglers along the SW coast of England and Kydd's personal life. While having interesting details of English society, it does not show any progress for Kydd in the Royal Navy. In fact, Kydd has appeared to stumble when he made an enemy of his admiral and society in general.

This book cried out for a map. Since it did not take place mid-ocean but along the English coast, many small towns were mentioned as Kydd's ship sailed by or visited. I would have liked to track the voyages.

In addition, I wish Stockwin had included a list of unusual terms. I found 18 words or expressions that I did not know and had to stop to look them up. There was one expression ("arcadia in urbes," page 241) and two terms (pickerooning, page 53 and catblash, page 265) that I'm still not sure about.

I know that Mary dislikes Kydd's manner of speaking (me too) and there is some improvement in this book as Kydd practices his speech. His desire to be acceptable in high society is reflected in his improvement in speech, dress, and manner of socializing. However, Kydd's contractions and other speech mannerisms slip back into use quite frequently still. Hopefully any future improvement will make his speech more readable.

If I ignore the lack of naval progress for Kydd, which is what attracted me to the series in the first place (pressed man to Captain/Admiral in ten books), I would have to say the daily life of a small fishing village, methods of smuggling, and the social life of the upper class were presented well. I look forward to Kydd's next adventure.


Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:59 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
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Location: Cambridgeshire, England
I don't have a great deal to say about this book, although I did enjoy it, but cannot agree with some readers' comments saying that it is Stockwin's "best ever yet."

I agree with Don that it badly needed a map. All right, I'm British and I have a rough idea where these places are as described by the author, in particular the Scilly Isles where I have approached and departed by ship, and seen the hazardous rocks around there. Having said that, I don't know every rock and cove on the south west coast that the author seemed to want to familiarise his reader with. On that aspect - the details contained therein - I thought somewhat overdone and unnecessary.

On the plus side, I thought Stockwin's descriptions of Plymouth during the era were excellent, and brought it all very much to life.

As Don also mentioned, I hate the dialect of Kydd that I believe the author is trying to convey to his tedious, book after book, after book... and for one happy moment I thought it might all end with Kydd trying to improve his status in society.... but, oh dear, no! I was to be disappointed.

I did enjoy the diversion of some Kydd ashore and some descriptions of the life and times of the era - an attempt to go along the lines of POB, I wonder? ... also am I the only one in thinking that he is doing a Aubrey and Maturin with Kydd and Renzi?

I'll probably have some more to say when I have re-read Don's post.

- Mil -
aka Mary ....

Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:22 am
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Mil Goose wrote:
... also am I the only one in thinking that he is doing a Aubrey and Maturin with Kydd and Renzi?

I don't know if he is trying to do it on purpose, but it does come off that way.

I have the honour to be, &c.

Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:35 pm
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