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Britannia's Spartan: The Dawlish Chronicles:  June 1859  and  April - August 1882 by [Vanner, Antoine]
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Britannia's Spartan: The Dawlish Chronicles: June 1859 and April - August 1882 Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in The Dawlish Chronicles (5 Book Series)

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Length: 393 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

“Antoine Vanner” is the Tom Clancy of historical naval fiction” – Author Joan Druett Antoine Vanner’s own adventurous life, his knowledge of human nature, his passion for nineteenth-century history and his understanding of what was the cutting-edge technology of that time, make him the ideal chronicler of the life of Nichols Dawlish R.N. Antoine lives in Britain. He spent many years in international business and continues to travel extensively on a private basis.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3472 KB
  • Print Length: 393 pages
  • Publisher: Old Salt Press LLC; 1 edition (10 Dec. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0198UX6I0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #221,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Britannia's Spartan is the fourth in Antoine Vanner's Dawlish series. I have been following these from the beginning and have very much enjoyed the introduction to the world of the Royal Navy of the late nineteenth century.

This was a period of vast technological and social change. At the start of Nicholas Dawlish's fictional life, naval battles were still fought between wooden sailing ships armed with muzzle-loading cannon, of a basic design unchanged since Tudor times. By the time of Britannia's Spartan - the 1880s - he is commanding a steel-hulled ship driven by steam power, with breech-loading guns mounted in sponsons, carrying and being vulnerable to torpedoes. Rudimentary submarines were under development. The only major game-changer in naval warfare which did not appear in the nineteenth century was the aircraft, and these would also make their appearance before Dawlish's death in 1918 (still many books away, I am happy to say).

So, somebody in Dawlish's position had to master an ever-changing series of demands, if he was to continue to progress in his career. Men like Dawlish had been inspired by the careers of Nelson, Pellew, and the like, but the practical business of running a ship had changed radically since their day.

At this time England was, at least nominally, at peace. Ship captains were expected to have the ability to represent both their nation and their monarch as surrogate diplomats, not simply as warriors. However, the reality of service in foreign waters, accompanied by a degree of isolation from superior officers which is hard for us to contemplate, meant that every encounter could potentially be hostile.
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Format: Paperback
In Britannia'x Spartan, the fourth book in the Dawlish chronicles, Antoine Vanner takes us to the China seas where Dawlish must act for Britain as a diplomat charged with obtaining permission for the Royal Navy to visit Korean ports and map its coastline. Caught at the centre of the struggle among the Koreans, the Japanese and the Chinese, Dawlish must both negotiate and fight with all three on land and at sea. The diplomacy is as devious as the fighting is intense.

Dawlish carries the burden of command which "was the burden he had ached and striven for since boyhood and the reality was more terrible than he ever could have imagined in those long years." Through his eyes, we see appalling brutality, carnage and destruction, as well as heroism and honour.

As before, Vanner's book is not for the faint of heart. He does not shrink from the blood-and-guts of war, but in portraying Dawlish as an able risk-taker, he deftly winds together the intellectual appeal of tactics, the terror of conflict and the pity Dawlish feels for the victims of war as he orders his ship and men into situations in which it is certain that there will be casualties.

More than just a good read, this historic novel carries a sense of foreboding. Vanner’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the technology of warfare at sea in the decades immediately prior to World War I, along with his portrayal of the enmity among the Asian powers, together offer us a glimpse into that most populous area of the world at a time when it was largely misunderstood or ignored by Europe and America until it was almost too late.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have enjoyed all the Britannia's X books to date and Spartan is no different. The tale is well paced and places our hero in some rather sticky situations. While is a relief to see Dawlish is now enjoying the fruits of his former labours in the form of the command of his ship Leonidas (the spartan of the title) it is refreshing to see that Vanner does not allow him a free ride. While he is suited and able for command he does not find it easy by any means.

The story sees a simple mission turn into a diplomatic nightmare and puts Dawlish at risk of starting a war with a potentially very dangerous new power. As always the supporting characters are well drawn and help to render the book far more of a three dimensional tale than many of its erstwhile competitors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Suberb as are this authors previous works in this series. Stuffed with British pluck and daring do and of course devious but often extremely brave foreign chaps! For me particularly the illustrations and descriptions of the various vessels and their armament etc. I was born and grew up on Tyneside just after the end of WW2 opposite what was Lord Armstrong's Gun Works then known as Vickers Armstrong much of it and the surrounding area hadn't changed a lot since the period of this story. The guns spoken of in the book would have been made there.
Thank you and more of the same please.
PS. Surely Dawlish must be present at the great Sea battle between the fleets of Imperial Tzarist Russia and Japan in the same geographical area only a few years later.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The latest adventures of the intrepid Captain Dawlish certainly don't disappoint. We now find our hero as captain of his own RN vessel, a new ironclad with much improved armament, sailing in waters off Korea and tasked with a tricky diplomatic mission. Needless to say all does not go smoothly for Dawlish. More time is spent at sea in this book and Dawlish for the first time has to tussle with the decisions of a captain in the service of the Queen balanced with very tricky international drama. Another great read from Antoine Vanner and I shall look forward to the next book before too long.
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