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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by Astrodene on Mon 25 Aug 2008, 10:29

    I enjoyed this series the underlying theme of working for the navy's secret department was interesting and the occasional insights into the working of Trinity House


    Last edited by Astrodene on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 12:12; edited 1 time in total

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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty A brig of war

    Post by Alaric Bond on Sun 25 Oct 2009, 11:20

    Just started this, my first Woodman for many years. Look forward to leaving a full review shortly.

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    Post by conaghan on Wed 28 Oct 2009, 16:49

    My local library happened to have books 6 through 13 of Woodman's Drinkwater series - - enjoyed all of them very much. Now I have to purchase the rest! cheers
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by Alaric Bond on Tue 15 Dec 2009, 08:33

    Finished Brig of War and found it stimulating and enjoyable. I especially liked the interplay between the commander and first officer (Drinkwater), and the long term animosities with friends and foe alike came over well.

    True to my perverse nature I am now starting on A Kings Cutter; the prequel...

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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty A King's Cutter

    Post by Alaric Bond on Sun 03 Jan 2010, 09:46

    Another enjoyable book; this time with a little more “history” worked in. I enjoyed the meetings with Duncan, and the description of Camberdown was excellent. Woodman also conveys the purpose (and cramped conditions) of a cutter well. The only slightly inconsistent passage concerned the suppression of mutiny towards the end of the story – I don't want to go into spoilers, but felt that Drinkwater's actions were not in line with his personality. One I will doubtless read again, however (my measure of the value of any book) and, true to form, I'm now looking around for the prequel...

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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by Joolz on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 14:34

    Love Drinkwater, especially his east coast and Trinity House connections. I only had the first 3 for many years, but recently completed the collection and am working my way through them.

    Seems a little under-rated around here?
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by Joolz on Sat 27 Aug 2011, 15:34

    Just to set the record straight, my above post gives an erroneous impression - I had a complete set of Drinkwater, my third after Hornblower & Aubrey, but circumstances left me with just the first three for several years. However, I recently completed the set again via omnibus editions, of which the final volume incorporates 2 additional short stories and an overview by the author. I have also replaced my old discoloured Hornblowers with omnibus editions which are excellent value IMO.
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    Post by leonidas on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 21:46

    Just finished the first two Drinkwater novels. Good reading and interesting to get bits of the wider world outside the ships.

    Nathaniel sounds a bit like a beserker in the close combat sequences, and almost too good as a sailing master.The Ushant escape was hair-raising.

    Have the next four to read and will then seek out others in the series

    Recommended reading and more than a touch of O'Brian at times!
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    Post by captain yogi on Fri 23 Sep 2011, 18:18

    I shall have to try this series. At the beginning of it all,is Drinkwater a Midshipman?
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    Post by Astrodene on Fri 23 Sep 2011, 19:03

    @captain yogi wrote:At the beginning of it all,is Drinkwater a Midshipman?
    He is

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    Post by leonidas on Fri 30 Sep 2011, 10:10

    Great mail day. Three omnibus editions of Drinkwater series arrived from 3 different sources in the same delivery!

    And another couple of Dewey Lambden novels. Will keep me going for days!

    Have read the first six of the Drinkwater novels and thoroughly enjoyed every one. Highly recommended.
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    Post by leonidas on Wed 09 Nov 2011, 01:47

    I have just finished reading Ebb Tide. Oh dear, I guess I should have expected what happened from the title.

    Still a great little vignette of a highly likeable character. Richard Woodman is to be congratulated on a first class series, that never palled or fell below the initial standard he set. His love of the sea has enhanced my own.
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    Post by leonidas on Fri 11 Nov 2011, 20:29

    Having had time to reflect on the Drinkwater novels and read Woodman's account of the evolution of the series, I have decided to rate them as second only to the Aubrey novels of Patrick O'Brian.

    The characters and stories are credible for the most part, historically "accurate" as far as fiction can be, and each one is a page-turner, which is in my book, a fine signal.

    I will definitely be reading them again, but lots of others in the meantime!
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by 80 Winters on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 00:02

    Since I selected Richard Woodman as my favorite HNF author in "the poll", and briefly stated "why", I'll use this venue to expand my thoughts on Nathaniel Drinkwater. As stated previously, I "personally" believe it likely that Nathaniel could well be Richard Woodman's "alter ego" (both share long, and not easy, careers as they advanced in the RN, both were long associated with Trinity House, and both were "Tarpaulin Officers" (again, my personal belief).

    This was the 1st "Complete" series that I read. My definition of complete being that it was written in order from start to finish (unlike Hornblower) and the author lived to finish it (unlike O'brian, Pope and others). I feel these factors led to "the flow" of the story and while I felt I'd lost a friend as I finished EBB TIDE I also felt "closure".

    Woodman is a product of the English "public school system" and again, "I feel personally" that you can't do better when it comes to writing HNF of the RN. (Yes, I still like Dewey Lambdin's series (and others who didn't learn to write in the English PSS, but it's a totally diferent "style"and reflects a different education of the writer).

    Like Hornblower, Nathaniel Drinkwater is continually "soul searching" and critiquing his thoughts and behavior..........his "humanity" is there, and I personally have experienced it and many of the characters who "cross those pages".........I too have met in passing. And I'll bet many of you have too.

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    Post by MikeThompson on Thu 15 Mar 2012, 02:32

    I've only read the first of the series, but I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to continuing through the rest. Drinkwater's character was really brought out and I'm hoping to see it develop as I delve further.
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    Post by 80 Winters on Sat 31 Mar 2012, 02:36

    Mike, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this series as you continue to read and then finish it.
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by jkeffer on Tue 05 Mar 2013, 04:04

    I have just picked up my first Drinkwater novel, The Corvette. Can't wait to get into it!
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by 80 Winters on Tue 05 Mar 2013, 04:21

    James -

    Far be it from me to tell anybody 'not to read Woodman' (after all, he's still my 'favorite author'). However, you're entering a 14 book series at the 5th book. The 1st book in the Nathaniel Drinkwater series is An Eye of the Fleet written in 1981.........trust me, this is where you want to start. Like so many of the 'classic' series, they are 'chronological'.

    If you can't find the entire series at your library, I have a set of paperbacks listed under the 'books to loan' thread. Check it out.
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by MattWillis on Thu 07 Mar 2013, 17:10

    @80 Winters wrote:James -

    Far be it from me to tell anybody 'not to read Woodman' (after all, he's still my 'favorite author'). However, you're entering a 14 book series at the 5th book. The 1st book in the Nathaniel Drinkwater series is An Eye of the Fleet written in 1981.........trust me, this is where you want to start. Like so many of the 'classic' series, they are 'chronological'.

    If you can't find the entire series at your library, I have a set of paperbacks listed under the 'books to loan' thread. Check it out.

    I agree - the Drinkwater series is now available in five 'omnibus' editions each with three novels in (two in the last) and this is an excellent way to read them (and ensure you don't inadvertently skip any).

    Edit: Having thought about this a little more, the Drinkwater novels, although self-contained, form more of a continuous story than many other series. I've found myself able to pick up Aubery-Maturin, and in my earlier days, Hornblower novels mid-series with no ill-effects, but I'm not sure this would be as possible with the Drinkwater novels. Of course, I read the Drinkwater series through in sequence, with no breaks, so I'm not sure if in fact it would be easier than I think to pick up a novel mid-series... But I can attest to the reading in sequence being most enjoyable.
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    Nathaniel Drinkwater Series Empty Re: Nathaniel Drinkwater Series

    Post by Big Joe on Sat 30 Mar 2013, 11:27

    I have recently finished the fifth omnibus of the Drinkwater series. I liked very much all the sequential volumes, but the last "flashback" stories annoyed me... (In contrast to the comment by "80 winters" that "it was written from start to finish").

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    Post by 80 Winters on Sat 30 Mar 2013, 16:00

    It's been several years since I last read 'Drinkwater', so I'm not sure when you refer to "flashbacks", unless (hope not to get into 'spoilers' here) they're the "flashbacks" of a dying man in Ebbtide. If so, I've discounted 'memories' when I stated that the series was written in 'chronologicasol order'. I guess I need a bit more information Big Joe.

    Also, I haven't read the 'omnibus' versions. Is it possible that they include any of the Drinkwater 'short stories' that Woodman published elsewhere? Because I have read them and 'Yes' they're neither chronological nor, in my view, part of the series.
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    Post by Big Joe on Sat 30 Mar 2013, 22:05

    Yes, you are right on both accounts.
    I did mean the memories of the dying man, which are actually an attempt of the writer to provide some info he felt was missing. It was too much for "memories" without any linkage to storyline we already we are already familiar with. In fact the attempt to fill in some "loopholes" in the history of Drinkwater.

    And yes there are in the third part of the omnibus two short stories "The Night Attack" and "The steeple Rock" which are nice stand alone stories, having no impact on the history of Drinkwater.


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    Post by 80 Winters on Sat 30 Mar 2013, 23:43

    I also enjoyed the short stories and wish the author had provided a few more.

    Woodman's Nathaniel Drinkwater was a somewhat 'radical departure', at least for me, from the HNF I'd read to that point. While almost all of the protagonists had faced a 'setback' here or there (well, maybe save Ramage), Nathaniel reminded me of that old 'saw'......."If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all". His 'professional life' was a study in adversity, and yet he almost never waivered, but (as we like to say) Pressed On. It truly 'won me' to know that someone could live his life with such 'stiff resolve'. I'm pragmatic, but Nathaniel went far beyond that and when I hear the term 'he was a tarpulin officer...........I'll always see him (and none other).

    As for 'his memories', it's said that 'in crisis' prior events can 'flash' before your eyes and I'm not sure how that's suppose to work........(and I'd rather not find out sooner).

    Thanks for your thoughts on the Nathaniel Drinkwater series.
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    Post by queen katherine on Sun 31 Mar 2013, 18:05

    I know that the series Drinkwater includes no fewer than 14 books ... unfortunately in Italian only two have been translated. (An Eye of the Fleet,. A King's Cutter). The reading I really liked the character of Daniel I really liked ... no sin to know if there are other translations. Sad
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    Post by jbaltsar on Sat 06 Apr 2013, 20:28

    Hello there,
    I just finished my 3rd Drinkwater book (A Brig of War) and must say it was a satisfying read - maybe not exactly on par with the POBs that read recently, but still ...

    The historical details and the seamanship seem well researched (as far as I can tell) and the characters are well developed. In a way I was pleasently surprised that Nat is still 1st lieutenant - after the first book I feared that, being such a brilliant midshipman, he will be admiral within weeks. Another theme that distinguishes these books from POBs is the bitter enmity between Drinkwater and Morris; this gives the book a gritty edge that is refreshingly different to the Aubrey/Maturin books.

    So while I wait for my next POB ration I will follow Mr Drinkwater on his way.

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