Mister Christian

William Kinsolving, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-81303-5
Spanning a period of more than 20 years following the 1789 mutiny aboard the HMS Bounty, this captivating yarn chronicles the subsequent derring-do of chief mutineer Fletcher Christian. In 1810, a man languishing in Bedlam, the infamous English insane asylum, claims to be Fletcher Christian, long presumed dead. A progressive doctor allows him to write his story as a form of therapy--and so begins a rousing adventure tale as Fletcher relates how he escaped a native uprising on his South Sea island and returned circuitously to England. En route, he rescues Daphne, a beautiful duchess, from pirates, only to be marooned with her briefly on a Caribbean island. Their love keeps Fletcher returning to England after each flight from authorities, each terrible hardship abroad and forced tour at sea. England and France are fast at war, and impressment into the navy is a constant threat. Fletcher sails as a common seaman into some great battles alongside the likes of Lord Horatio Nelson, and dangerously close to his old nemesis, Captain Bligh. He also contends with pirates and is imprisoned by them for years at a time. While landbound, he is shunned by his family but befriended by his old neighbors, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, who tend to him during an illness--while their friend Samuel Coleridge supplies laudanum and picks Fletcher's brain for details of life at sea. Whenever he can, Fletcher schemes to meet with Daphne, under assumed names and a few steps ahead of a persistent Home Office detective. Kinsolving (The Diplomat's Daughter) maintains a relentless pace through all the period detail, and his clever interstitching of historical fact and wild imagination creates an old-fashioned romantic saga that is both outrageous and credible. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-56895-339-7
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-4165-9904-3
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4516-8462-9
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