oh heavens. i dislike admitting that am not 100% cynical about things, that life will all its ignominy and disappointments, vacillations and cupidity has not yet extinguished my ability to dream of freedom and unfettered joy, that there might still be a heart under all this bravado... but there it is, that little squeak that i cannot suppress. oh, captain blood! how you have undone me!
captain peter blood is a little wild. he loves the poetry of horace. he's sharp-witted, and impudent; a cunning strategist. he cuts a fine figure in black clothes and flashing eyes. he has the misfortune to lose his liberty for doing the right thing, and his heart to the niece of the reprehensible man ostensibly made his owner, a woman never wooed because she was too companionable and frank with men. he stands by his word and turns himself inside out to protect the men who serve under him and the woman he loves. to satisfy his unattainable lady's ideas of honour, he tries to give up the pirate life that was the only option left him, only to find that men pursuing outwardly honourable professions are in fact privateers in sheep's clothing. he is surrounded by hot-heads, morons, and avaricious s.o.b.s who somehow have the world in the palms of their hands and try as he might, he sees no way to escape his sorry fate. he decides to give up and get really stinking drunk. but then it all changes on a dime, as fate is wont to do, and he gets a chance to turn it all around and he gets his happy ending, and for a moment i forget all the heartbreak and pain and loneliness because my heart is so full for him. and so i squeak.
and should you fear that i have become an utterly romantic fool, i proffer this, in quick strokes: this novel is a boisterous tale set in the 17th century concerned with pirates and adventures on the high seas. the book breaks down into three parts -- the creating of a pirate, his success, and then his end. it's dated and contains some vile racial descriptions i could have done without (not from captain blood, thank heavens!) but the book generally reflects the attitude of the time, and while there is prejudice and nationalism rampant on the spanish main, the book doesn't dwell on it, and it is easy enough to acknowledge, disparage, and move on from this into the spirit of the book, and the heart of its protagonist, whose charms it's clear that i for one, could not resist.