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Ramage & the Drumbeat (The Lord Ramage Novels) (Volume 2) Paperback – April 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"Mr. Pope is as good at detail as Ramage is at tactics and it's for those who like their cutlasses sharp and their romance romantic."  —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Dudley Pope, a naval defense correspondent of the London Evening News, progressed to writing carefully researched naval history. C.S. Forester urged Pope to try his hand at fiction and saw the younger writer as his literary heir. Pope began what was to become an impressive series with Ramage (1965) and, over the next 24 years, produced 17 more novels tracing Lord Ramage's career. Pope died in 1997.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Lord Ramage Novels (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McBooks Press (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935526773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935526776
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Scott Blake on April 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I thought that the first Ramage book was a harbinger of things to come. "Drumbeat" is as good , or better, than its predecessor. The story is appealing, the characters of Ramage, his crew, and the Marchesa continue to develop well, and the detail work is fine. After two exposures to Ramage, I compare Pope's work with him to Alexander Kent's Bolitho series. In both, the main characters are believable and draw the reader into their world most convincingly. It's a great thing for readers of nautical fiction that Ramage is being reprinted in U.S. editions. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roger Lee on September 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a very entertaining book, with an real barn-burner of a battle at the end. The best thing about this book is the unusual and creative tactics Ramage uses during the battles. The battles in this book are not the usual artillery slug-fests. The book is fairly well-written, although Pope doesn't come close to Patrick O'Brian in terms of quality prose and witty dialogue. The characters are likable but not terribly three-dimensional. One of the reasons I really like Pope, though, is that he was incredibly knowledgeable about sailing and the age of fighting sail and it shows in his writting. At one point, Pope gives a brief history of the ships of the line in Sir John Jervis' squadron (real historical ships) and he lists every major battle they fought in and who commanded them at the time. Of course he could have just looked all that up, but I think that he just knew all that history. The final battle is essentially the Battle of St. Vincent, but it is greatly modified for dramatic purposes. Pope obviously loved his subject matter. At one point he gives about a page and a half description of all of the beautiful features of a ship of the line. I have also read that of all of the major writers in this genre, Pope was the best real-life sailor. (He spent many years of his life living on and sailing his boat, the Ramage). But anyway, this series is excellent so far; one no fan of nautical fiction should miss.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr J on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the second in the Ramage series (see my review of _Ramage_). It's even better than the first. Pope is a fine writer and keeps the pace moving along at a good clip--easy to read. Ramage has a series of adventures and finally plays a major part in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. The real joy in these books is following Ramage's thought processes to solve the predicament he's in. Pope never gives it away, though, and the reader has to guess (just as the crew does!) at his plans. It's like reading a mystery novel. It's all good fun!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on June 18, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After a brief recapitulation of the eventful first volume in this series, Pope picks up the day to day adventures of Lt. Lord Ramage in his first command. Carrying the love of his life to Gibraltar, Ramage falls in with frigates, both Spanish and British, has an onshore diversion spying on the enemy, has a run-in with a Levanter, and returns to save the day for the fleet and his beloved Commodore Nelson.
Ramage is a clever dog, and Pope smart enough to keep us in the dark about his hero's tricks until he's about to crash aboard an enemy ship. I love the atmospheric detail of antique things and actions, but Pope is also a bit talky, his factual asides occasionally breaking into the action, rather like a sprinkle of sand on plum duff. Often his asides serve to draw out an action to interminable, almost real-time, length. For example, Pope has Ramage engage in a monologue on the texture of deck wood while he makes a fateful decision during Adm. Jervis' great fleet battle off Cape St. Vincent in 1797 (NB: this is NOT Nelson's fatal battle at nearby Trafalgar, in 1805). In such ways Pope stretches a single-ship action to 80 agonizing pages, with hardly a page for the actual cut-and-thrust of boarding. Maybe Pope is trying to give us a study of the thought processes of successful leadership, at close to the last time leaders were wholly on their own. Good thing Ramage has the loyalty of his crew and the luck o' the divil for his thrilling but disobedient series of escapades here off Spain, or he'd've been flogged 'round the fleet. (If you want to try your own hand at sailing a radio-controlled model square-rigger, my search of the Web suggests it will cost us thou$ands vs several hundred$ for a fore-and-aft rig.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second installment in the "Lord Nicholas Ramage" series and it begins a few days after the first one ended, with Lieut. Ramage commanding an extremely cutter west of Sardinia in the Fall of 1796, trying to convey the refugee Marquesa di Volterra and her cousin back to Gibraltar, from which they will continue to England to make common cause against Napoleon. They weather a severe gale and shortly thereafter come upon a Spanish frigate that didn't do as well, having been reduced to a mastless hull. Still, the Spaniard is eight times the size of Ramage's cutter and her guns presumably still function perfectly; no sane skipper would do anything but give the derelict a wide berth and keep on going. Ramage, of course, has to take a crack at capturing the enemy -- which, of course, he does, through an ingenious stratagem involving a gig and fifty pounds of gunpowder. Awhile later, he meets a British frigate, which relieves him of the Marquesa, and after that the little cutter manages to run smack into a Spanish squadron, which relieves him of both his prize and his own ship. Ramage perseveres throughout, does a little espionage work (as the opportunity arises) regarding the plans of the Spanish fleet, and eventually finds himself reunited with his ship and his crew and attached to Sir John Jervis's fleet. This gives Pope the opportunity to present the reader with an excellent picture and tactical analysis of the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, one of the two or three most important engagements of the war. Ramage even plays a key role in "Nelson's Patent Bridge for Taking First-Rates." (Well, it is a novel.) Ramage is a personable sort and a (mostly) believable unintentional hero. It doesn't have the literary depth of Patrick O'Brian but it's a good, fun series nevertheless.
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Ramage & the Drumbeat (The Lord Ramage Novels) (Volume 2)
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