Felix Wild is approaching his seventeenth birthday, if the horse doctor who originally estimated his age by examining his teeth is correct. He still has the remarkable ability to memorise and draw anything he has seen, but is now looking for a fresh challenge. Studying navigation appeals to him but fate - in the shape of Admiral Millinhall-Slice - intervenes, and he is whisked away from the comfortable home of Mr and Mrs Kettle on a dangerous mission into the heart of the American Civil War aboard a blockade-runner.
In this witty and engaging novel, Peter Broadbent creates characters worthy of Charles Dickens, including Pearly Yardstick, a carriage driver who – to the astonishment of the Kettle household – is not only a woman but one with 'the backside of an Epsom Derby winner'; Captain Achilles De'Kedge, whose walking stick was fashioned from the timbers of HMS Pickle, the ship that brought home the news of Nelson's triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar; and Doshie Dibbler, a mere thirty-three inches tall, but a perfect example of miniature womanhood.
Keywords: American Civil War, Blockade Runners, Bermuda, cotton trade, Royal Navy, Victorian, Portsmouth, Gosport, adventure, sailors, steam ships