Admiral Sir P.B.V. Broke, Bart., K.C.B., etc.: a memoir John George Brighton

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Admiral Sir P.B.V. Broke, Bart., K.C.B., etc.: a memoir  by  John George Brighton

Admiral Sir P.B.V. Broke, Bart., K.C.B., etc.: a memoir by John George Brighton
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Reading historic romance fiction, some of the heroes start to sound pretty much impossible, and one doubts whether such real men actually existed. Say, a naval captain who dotes on his wife and children, and yet is such a bad*** that his frigate captured an American frigate in a 15-minute engagement.Meet Captain Broke. This is the only biography of him I have been able to find, published in 1866, which I can only attribute to the fact that he has pretty much nothing in common with Jack Aubrey (unlike Cochrane and Pellew, who have been given modern treatments that promote the possible connection to OBrians fictional captain) except that they were both excellent fighting captains.Which was well and good for me, because while Jack Aubrey is a fantastic character, hes not exactly the sort of husband an Austenesque heroine would want to marry.

And so Captain Broke, who became Captain (and eventually Admiral) Sir Philip Broke, was a perfect model for me to use for one of my own characters.It might have been the style in 1866, but this book is sort of filled with everything including the kitchen sink, hence the four stars. (I think Ive been slowly making my way through this book for the better part of a year!) There are detailed records of how many shots hit each ship in the battle of Shannon vs. Chesapeake, genealogy records, and a tremendous amount of correspondence.

A good deal of the latter is interesting, and as this book is available on Google Play Books for free, Id certainly recommend anyone looking for a real-world Austenesque hero to go read Brokes letters to his wife.An example:My Sunday devotions bear me home to my L[ouisa]: I wish I could pray by her side. Alas! I shall see no primroses this May to remind me of my gentle L[ouisa].

When shall I sit and read to her again in the shade whilst she ties up the violets? Poor Nacton*! tis far away- I must not think of it till I am on my return. I hope the dear little children all go on as happily as when you last wrote, as I feel how much my dear L[ouisa]s happiness depends on theirs, and how much delight she has in telling me they are prospering- and it makes me dwell so much more confidently on the hope of finding the dear little creatures a comfort to us both when we meet...I must close up this and attend to my wooden mistress.

She is a great tyrant! Give my love to all the dear little cherubs round you, and Heaven protect you all!* Broke Hall at Nacton was the family home.



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