The Private Revolution of Geoffrey Frost

Written by J.E. Fender
Review by Margaret Barr

Fans of Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester will find much to admire in this historical novel, set in 1776 on the coast of New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Geoffrey Frost of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a former East Indies trader and privateer who captains his vessel Salmon in support of the colonies. After a desperate and tragic sea battle, he captures a prize–the British ship Jaguar, which he calls the Cat–and gathers a crew to sail her to Nova Scotia, where he will once more engage with the enemy.

A wealth of period detail and naval expertise combine with plenty of action in an enjoyable and instructive read. The subtitle indicates that the account of the mariner’s life and times is taken from a chronicle authored by Ming Tsun, Frost’s Oriental comrade and subordinate. Fender, legal counsel to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, has done an impeccable job of researching his subject, providing a detailed and engrossing maritime adventure and depiction of New England’s colonial society. Jacket copy indicates that this volume is the first in a series.