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The Richard and Adam Bolitho novels by Alexander Kent are published by Arrow Books in the United Kingdom and by McBooks Press in the United States and are available online and in fine bookshops. The titles are listed below in historical chronological order. UK editions are on the left and US editions are on the right.

COLOURS ALOFT!

September 1803 ... Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho finds himself the new master of Argonaute, a French flagship taken in battle. With the Peace of Amiens in ruins, he must leave behind the safety of Falmouth. What lies ahead is the grim reality of war at close quarters — where Bolitho will be called upon to anticipate the overall intention of the French fleet. But the battle has come to a personal vendetta between himself and the French admiral who formerly sailed Argonaute. Bolitho and his men to a final rendezvous where no quarter is asked or given.

HONOUR THIS DAY

September 1804 ... England stands alone against France and the fleets of Spain, anticipating invasion. Vice-Admiral Richard Bolitho has his own troubles to settle at home too. But his time on land is broken by an urgent summons from the King. Once more Bolitho hoists his flag above the veteran seventy-four-gun ship Hyperion and sets sail, this time with a new squadron headed for the Caribbean. Ordered to plan and effect a daring raid on the Spanish Main, Bolitho spares himself nothing. From here to Antigua, where he rediscovers a passion which defies every convention and threatens his reputation. And the future of the Hyperion is at risk too. Set to clear the path to victory there is constant fear that this may be her final battle.

THE ONLY VICTOR

February 1806 ... The frigate carrying Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho drops anchor off the shores of southern Africa. It is only four months since the resound- ing victory over the combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar, and the death of England's greatest naval hero. Bolitho's instructions are to assist in hastening the campaign in Africa, where an expeditionary force is attempting to recapture Cape Town from the Dutch. Outside Europe few have yet heard of the battle of Trafalgar, and Bolitho's news is met with both optimism and disappointment as he reminds the senior officers that, despite the victory, Napoelon's defeat is by no means assured. The men who follow Bolitho's flag into battle are to discover, not for the first time, that death is the only victor.

BEYOND THE REEF

March 1808 ... War spreads in Europe as Napoleon holds Portugal and threatens his old ally, Spain. Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho is ordered to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a permanent naval force there following the success of his previous mission. He leaves behind the contempt of society and the bitter memories of a friendship betrayed, and with the mistress he will not forsake takes passage on the ill-fated Golden Plover. He is not the only one on board fleeing the bitterness of the past. When shipwreck and disaster overtake Golden Plover, a hundred-mile reef off the coast of Africa becomes a powerful symbol of crisis and survival, claiming alike the innocent and the damned.


THE DARKENING SEA

1809 ... Returning to England after the dramatic capture of Martinique, Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho finds all too brief respite from war and politics in the arms of his mistress, Lady Catherine Somer-vell. But the shadow of a new conflict already darkens the horizon. France has forged an uneasy alliance with America. Together they threaten British trade routes. Bolitho is ordered immediately into the Indian Ocean, but, even though he is his country's newest Admiral, for the first time Bolitho begins to ponder whether there might be a life beyond the sea.


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Alexander Kent Novels