The New Dawlish Chronicles Novel – Published 10th December 2022
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It’s 1886, some eighteen months since Captain Nicholas Dawlish RN returned from the Sudan and the events covered in Britannia’s Gamble. He’s commanding a flotilla of the Royal Navy’s latest warships, including the massive battleship HMS Scipio. He’s at Trinidad when news arrives of a volcanic eruption on a small West Indian island. The situation is worsening and only decisive action can avert massive loss of life.
Dawlish and his ships are ordered to race there to render help. His enemy will be an angry mountain, vast in its malevolent power, a challenge that no naval officer has faced before.
But Dawlish’s contest with the volcano is just the prelude to a longer association with the island. Its sovereignty is split – a British Crown Colony in the west and, in the east, an independent republic established seven decades earlier by self-emancipated slaves.
When wrenched from France through war, both parts of the island seemed glittering economic prizes. Now they are impoverished backwaters where resentment seethes and old grudges fester. For many, the existence of a ‘black republic’ is resented, an affront to be excised.
And in France, a man of limitless ambition, backed by powerful interests, sees the turmoil as an opportunity that could bring him to absolute power. If he succeeds, he may perhaps trigger war in Europe on a scale unseen since the fall of Napoleon. Through this maelstrom, Nicholas Dawlish must navigate a skillful course. Political concerns complicate challenges that can only be resolved by ruthless guile and calculated use of force. Lacking direct support from the Royal Navy, Dawlish must fight some of the most vicious sea and land battles of his career with inadequate resources and unlikely – and unreliable – allies.