The Privateer: A Pirate for the Queen

R. C. Andersen, Author, Kathy Kaiser, Editor, Designs by Danni, Illustrator
R. C. Andersen, Author, Kathy Kaiser, Editor, Designs by Danni, Illustrator Spring Publications $19.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-9666946-0-4
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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Even current interest in the Elizabethan era fueled by the films Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love will not attract readers to this ungainly drama of high-seas adventure and 16th-century London depravity. There's action enough for several books: sea battles, combat on Caribbean islands, a hidden royal identity, a rare giant jewel, a public hanging in London and even a cameo by Good Queen Bess (""We are most pleased to make your acquaintance""). The protagonist is privateer captain Jacob Maxwell, who employs the pirate ship Bernadette in an effort to save the queen's young cousin from kidnappers and achieve respect for himself and his crew as brave, noble seamen. The story is marred by loopy writing (""his brooding adversary... twirling one end of a much too wide, thin black moustache"") and blatantly inauthentic period dialogue (""I was really sticking my neck out with that remark!""). The appearance of ""a honky-tonk piano"" and ""New England furniture"" long before the landing at Plymouth Rock are laughable at best. (Apr.)
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