Rough Passage to London: A Sea Captain's Tale, A Novel (Hardback)
  • Rough Passage to London: A Sea Captain's Tale, A Novel (Hardback)
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Rough Passage to London: A Sea Captain's Tale, A Novel (Hardback)

(author)
£15.95
Hardback 376 Pages / Published: 07/10/2013
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Set in the early nineteenth century, Rough Passage to London follows Ely, a young farm boy who escapes his troublesome home in Connecticut and becomes a cabin boy on a square-rigged ship headed for London . . . a route he hopes will lead to his disappeared older brother. As Ely learns the trade of a sailor and follows a cryptic clue to his brother's whereabouts, he experiences romance, faces a mutiny, meets Queen Victoria, and befriends historical legends such as Charles Dickens in his raucous quest.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781574093209
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 685 g
Dimensions: 236 x 162 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Pirate skirmishes, gale-force storms, human trafficking, and other high seas drama pepper Lloyd's poignant and action-packed debut about his real-life ancestor, Captain Ely Morgan. In 1812, young Ely and his older brother, Abraham, witnessed an explosive British raid near their home in Connecticut; they were pursued and fired upon, narrowly eluding capture and certain death. Eight years later, Ely left home to escape his father's temper and to search for Abraham, who had been mysteriously lost at sea years earlier. As the years away from home multiplied, Ely became a seasoned sailor, making devoted, loyal friends as well as vicious enemies. He ascended from novice sailor to captain to manager of the Black X shipping line by virtue of his hard work, intelligence and wit; Ely gained fame, socializing with Charles Dickens and other cultural figures. Yet, an introspective Ely had moments of self-doubt, questioning whether to quit his search and the sea: "A life at sea can only lead to tragic loss, pain, and suffering." More clues eventually lead Ely to discover a link between a slave syndicate, his brother's disappearance and his enemies, leading to shipshape conclusion. Lloyd crafts an engaging and thoughtful thrill ride; his mariner Ely Morgan is neither salty nor rum-soaked...he's the thinking man's swashbuckler. * Publishers Weekly *
NBC correspondent Lloyd draws on family history for his debut historical novel about his ancestor Capt. Elisha Ely Morgan. The book opens in 1814, when Ely and his brother Abraham witness a British raiding party torching American boats during the War of 1812. Eight years later, 16-year-old Ely runs away from the family farm in Connecticut after his family receives a letter stating that his two brothers are lost at sea. Lloyd convincingly traces Ely's career as a seaman, moving across the years and marking his advancement. Not only are we taken on harrowing adventures (mutinies, death-defying sea rescues, political intrigue), but we are given clues as to what might have happened to Ely's brothers. Eventually, Ely becomes a notable sea captain, sailing across the Atlantic more than 100 times and making friends with such 19th-century luminaries as Charles Dickens, who is inspired to model his central character in the story "A Message from the Sea" after Ely. VERDICT This epic seafaring tale comes highly recommended for its exciting narrative and historical acumen. Lloyd's research and personal connection to the past bring this tale to life, and fans of Patrick O'Brian will want to add this work to their reading list. * Library Journal *
...[T]he result is a lively, fine read. * Sailing *
Robin Lloyd is a great reporter, and he has shaped meticulous research into a rollicking story of the sea and the tall ships that sailed the North Atlantic in the 1800s. Amazingly, he hadn't planned to write a novel when he began reading about his ancestor, Elisha Ely Morgan-who knew everyone of his day, from Charles Dickens to Queen Victoria. We can be glad that the more [Lloyd] read, the more he realized he had the makings of a fine story. -- Bob Schieffer, chief Washington correspondent, CBS News, author of This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV and Overload
Robin Lloyd has written a meticulously researched and thoroughly entertaining tale of the sea. Drawing on an ancestor who was a well-known sea captain, Robin weaves a tale of adventure and intrigue. The characters are beautifully drawn and believable, but what makes this book so memorable is the sense of what it was like to be on board a packet ship racing across the Atlantic, every sail straining and every line taut. This book will captivate anyone who loves the sea and a well-told yarn. -- David Ignatius, columnist, The Washington Post
Robin Lloyd has written a rousing yarn based on the real life of his dashing, salty ancestor, Captain Elisha Ely Morgan. Robin knows the sea and ships, and he tells this suspenseful tale wonderfully well. -- Evan Thomas, Assistant Managing Editor, Newsweek
...[A] rousing sea tale... * Soundings *
Lloyd's beautifully written novel paints a detailed portrait... * Ocean Navigator *
Fact meets fiction to weave a fascinating, detailed sea tale inspired by what author Lloyd was told as a child, and then researched as an adult, about his ancestor Elisha Ely Morgan, a famous sea captain who was a close friend of Charles Dickens. This is a must read for anyone who's a fan of nautical history, colorful yarns and skillful prose. * Cruising World *
Everything that could happen to our Victorian forebears at sea happens to Ely and his crew at some stage. Robin lays it all before us as we read in grim fascination...In his preface Robin modestly hopes that he's acquired some of Ely's story telling abilities. By the time we've reached the end of the novel even the most grudging reader would have to admit that, yes, there does seem to be something in the genes. * The Bookbag *

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