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Press Gang!: Battle, Sweat and Glory in Nelson’s Navy! (Corrie’s War Book 1)
England and France have declared war, and Corrie Harriman joins in on the action. Corrie’s War is a sixteen-part naval adventure series where Corrie joins the Royal Navy and must combat deadly enemies, navigate through hazardous storms, and even endure cruelty by the hands of her own crew. No one suspects that Corrie is actually a young woman—and she plans to keep it that way.
PRESS GANG!: Battle, Sweat and Glory in Nelson’s Navy! (Bulmer Press, October 2018) by author and painter Anthony Barton is the first entry in the Corrie’s War series, in which a press gang brings Corrie and her brother, James, to the warship known as Swift. Her happiness soon turns to fear as Augustus Sly, the brutal master-at-arms, orders them into the bilge hole. Corrie forms a plan, and they break out but later accused of thievery. The punishment is death from hanging. How will Corrie get out of this one?
Corrie Harriman’s dream of being in the navy turns into a nightmare where she and her brother must fight for survival from her superior officers in PRESS GANG!
Books 1-4 are available on Amazon, as well as individually in print and eBook.
In Enemy Ship! (Book 2), James battles a French captain aboard a hostile ship and Corrie must save him from impending doom. In Clear for Action! (Book 3), Corrie is promoted to watch officer and in charge of the warship, but encounters the enemy in her path. She must decide whether or not to engage, which could cost the lives of the men, women, and children on the frigate. Outgunned, Swift has a skirmish with the French warship Tonnerre in Under Fire! (Book 4), but can Corrie’s plan save her crew from defeat? The author writes: You may be wondering if Corrie is right about Billy Brown, the Swift’s Captain of the Maintop. Is Billy Brown in fact a woman?
Many of the fictional people you meet in my Corrie’s War series are based on real people who served in the navy in Corrie’s time. Billy Brown was one such real person. My best guess is that Billy Brown was born a slave and escaped from the harsh British sugar plantations of Jamaica by stowing away on one of His Majesty’s warships. She must have been an excellent sailor, for we know for a fact Brown served for eleven years in that most splendid of Britain’s ships of the line, the Queen Charlotte.
Now the Royal Navy often cheated seamen out of their pay, and records show that Billy Brown took the Navy to court. I believe it was in the Old Bailey. Billy demanded her back pay. When they found out she was a woman, it was a great scandal! Women were not supposed to fight alongside men! I hope Billy won her case. I hope she got her pay.
If you can find out for me what happened to the real Billy Brown, then I’d be most interested to hear from you.