Monday, July 20, 2015
"The Privateersman", by Andrew Wareham
In few words: This is a rag to richest story of commoner Tom Andrews who after fleeing New York on a privateering ship with Joseph Star his partner, a half Carib freed slave, has heavily invested in iron, mines , and cotton and has taken all advantage of the early industrial boom thus making himself and Joseph very fortunate.
The plot is mainly of Tom’s life and slowly introduces a young man who found his way out of criminality to become a well-paid privateer. As he aged, his experience on the high seas made him a ruthless entrepreneur and eventually a respectable English factory owner. Inevitably, his fortune opened the door to the upper crust and all the attention that came with it whether wanted or not.
Written in the style of the era this novel is a bit intimidating at first but the story is so captivating that once into the beat I eventually overcame the challenge. The author’s touch into the period lifestyle of the 18th century is vivid and to the point. The description of England’s aristocracy combined with how businesses were run during the industrial revolution play a huge part. Capitalizing on cheap labor and the bad luck of others, Tom Andrews with Joseph Star became two of the richest men in the country and did so without imposing fear or punishment on their workers but rather giving them incentives. Definitely the characterization reflects the time period.
The story telling is well-done although I found the development to be a bit slow and seemed to drag at times. Having said this, I give this book thumps up for its details and historical background and the interesting manner in which it was delivered.