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According to the author in his preface, John Deane really existed and had an interesting and successful life in a variety of roles. He was born in 1679, of well-to-do parents, but started his working life as a drover, that is to say a person who drove great herds of cattle from the countryside to the great cities like London, for consumption there. He then joined the Navy and rose to become a ship's captain. After a spell as a Merchant Adventurer, he commanded a vessel in the Russian navy of Alexander the Great. Later he became British Consul at Ostend, on the coast of Belgium, quite close to south-east England. Finally he came back home to live in a village near Nottingham, receiving civic honours in that city. He died in 1760.
This book could therefore be called a historical novel, but written with the style and genius of Kingston it becomes far more than that. It is included in this index based on the part relating to the Russian Navy