The East Indiaman Author:Ellis K. Meacham THE EAST INDIAMAN is a bold and brilliant novel of the sea. It is the story of a man who was a leader of men. It is the story of the men he led, the ship he sailed, and of the Crown and Company he served. — The Naval Service of the Honorable East India Company, popularly known as the Bombay Marine, operated in romantic areas in perilous times. Fr... more »om the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, from Calcutta to Canton, the Company ships were famous for their speed and daring. The "Bombay Buccaneers" who sailed them were the stuff of legend, then as now.
Out of this legend, and from the documented history of the Service in the period 1805-1809, Ellis K. Meacham has created a truly notable chronicle of maritime adventure. In the character of Captain Percival Merewether of Rapid, Meacham has added to the British naval pantheon a hero whom Lord Nelson might welcome with affection and respect.
Wars, mutinies, and piracy. Fever and sudden death. Diplomatic intrigue and political unrest. All this was in the day's work for Percival Merewether, whose decisions were sometimes mistaken, often hasty, and always subject to the imponderables of fate.
Just as burdensome were the inner threats to his well-being: his cruel sense of social inferiority (Merewether was born a bastard, never knew his father's name), his lack of formal education, his difficulty in expressing in words the basic kindness of his heart. As the junior Captain in the Service, during a period of great danger to the Company's fortunes, Merewether was tested as few men ever are.
It is this constant tension between Merewether's public face and private doubts that gives THE EAST INDIAMAN its remarkable power as a study in command. Although the novel teems with action, it never strays from the limits of the probable. Although the pace of the novel never slackens, its narrative development is rich and full and sure.« less