Historical Maritime Society

Napoleon’s Gambit
Sailing through history to commit the perfect crime.

‘All that would be needed to destroy HMS Victory completely is a pair of Royal Marines with a .50 cal. in a rigid raider’ – thus went a conversation with a RN Admiral recently.

Come on, admit it, we’ve all done it! We’ve all put ourselves in history with a favourite figure and speculated on what they could do with some modern technology at their finger tips and a hint of foresight.

That then is the essence of Eric Goldman’s book. But then stir in some science-fiction, love interest, politics, treachery and good old-fashioned adventure, oh, and a King’s ransom in gold – or should that be Emperor’s, and you have a flavour of what’s on offer.

It’s difficult to tell you anything of the story without giving the game away but suffice to say that the action switches between Portsmouth dockyard, the world’s most advanced yacht, the deck of the Impérieuse, Thomas Cochrane’s pine-built frigate off Aix Roads and many other places between. If you thought that the plethora of writers on this period must have covered it so thoroughly that there was little leeway to say more you may think again. Eric has skilfully woven a new thread into an old and worn canvas.

A definite advantage too, is that the author is himself a sailor and so the novel has an authentic salt-tang to it. On a voyage of circumnavigation over 10 years ago Eric saw and experienced the mess we’re making of our planet as well as experiencing (and only just surviving) a hurricane at sea. It is this which gives the novel its realism and much of it’s driving force.

Eric, once a software engineer, has used this experience to allow you to ‘try before you buy’. The first 12 chapters of the book will be made available on his website in a variety of formats to allow you to read it or even to listen to it on an mp3 player.

Read (or listen) and enjoy.

Chris Jones
Historical Maritime Society