John Pearce

15 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 481 ratings

By the Mast Divided Summary

London: 1793. Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on her way to war. In the first few days, Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. And he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader. During an action-packed two weeks, as HMS Brilliant chases a French privateer across the English Channel, these disparate men form friendships that will last a lifetime.
©2004 David Donachie (P)2007 Soundings
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  • Book 1

    • By the Mast Divided

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 15 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 78
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 55
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 54

    London: 1793. Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on her way to war. In the first few days, Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. And he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Becalmed!

    • By Phil on 26-01-11

    Regular price: £25.89

  • Book 2

    • A Shot Rolling Ship

    • A John Pearce Novel
    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 60
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 42
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 42

    Pressed into King George's Navy for the second time in a month, John Pearce finds himself working aboard HMS Griffin, sailing the Channel in search of the numerous French privateers preying on English merchant ships. Pearce, however, has other things on his mind. He must find a way off the ship in order to rescue his ailing father from the dangers of revolutionary Paris.

    Regular price: £26.79

  • Book 3

    • An Awkward Commission

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 49
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 32
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31

    John Pearce's recent promotion means that he is finally free to follow his own wishes. But the same can't be said for his trio of closest friends, who are shipped off to the Mediterranean. Pearce vows to liberate them from the brutal tyrant they are serving under. His application to William Pitt finds him sailing off with secret dispatches for Admiral Lord Hood. But when Captain Ralph Barclay puts the lives of his crew at risk, Pearce must embark on a dangerous mission before he can free his friends.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Wonderful Series of Novels

    • By David on 19-05-10

    Regular price: £23.89

  • Book 4

    • A Flag of Truce

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 28

    Firebrand John Pearce has been promoted to lieutenant and is in a position of command on board HMS Faron when he returns to Toulon from his successful mission in Corsica.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Great fun

    • By Alexander on 26-07-18

    Regular price: £27.29

  • Book 5

    • The Admirals' Game

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 41
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 29
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 29

    1794. Lieutenant John Pearce is caught between a feuding trio of admirals. One puts him in a position of danger while another asks him to undertake a hazardous commission in order to protect his friends, the Pelicans. Meanwhile, Pearce is also trying to construct a perjury case against Admiral Ralph Barclay.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great naval yarn

    • By John on 20-03-15

    Regular price: £16.99

  • Book 6

    • An Ill Wind

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 28
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 18
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 18

    It is 1793. John Pearce and his Pelicans are going home - to gain their freedom and put the treacherous Captain Ralph Barclay in the dock. Emily Barclay discovers Pearce has papers that would ruin her husband’s career and her future security. And then comes that dread thing, a fire aboard a wooden ship of war! Cast adrift, Pearce and his Pelicans find help from an unlikely source.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Disappointed spinning out the strory

    • By Mike on 03-10-16

    Regular price: £13.99

  • Book 7

    • Blown Off Course

    • A Firebrand John Pearce Adventure, Book 7
    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
    • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 31
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 27
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 27

    Lieutenant John Pearce is in London seeking protection for his friends, the Pelicans, from a reluctant Admiralty. Sitting in the tavern where they were first press ganged, Pearce considers his future. Lacking the evidence of perjury he once had to bring Captain Ralph Barclay to justice, his prospects are not promising. Ralph Barclay’s young wife, Emily, is refusing to live under the same roof as him and she has the means to get her own way: the evidence Pearce believes was lost at sea.

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • The sea has dried up!

    • By Gary on 25-04-15

    Regular price: £15.09

  • Book 8

    • Enemies at Every Turn

    • John Pearce, Book 8
    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Michael Tudor Barnes
    • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 30
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 25

    The year is 1794. Free from jail, John Pearce is not free from the smugglers whose boat he stole. While lying low, Pearce soon has other pressing concerns on his mind. Granted a commission by William Pitt, John Pearce evades his pursuers by undertaking a dangerous mission in France. As rebellious ambition turns to bloody disaster, Pearce must try to re-join Admiral Howe. Also serving with Howe is Ralph Barclay - who has somehow contrived to yet again press Pearce’s friends into his crew.

    Regular price: £14.39

  • Book 9

    • A Sea of Troubles

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21

    1794: In the wake of the Glorious First of June, Lieutenant John Pearce has pressing matters to attend to. He must undertake an urgent commission from Lord Hood, track down midshipman Toby Burns, and placate Emily Barclay. Meanwhile smugglers whose ship Pearce inadvertently stole, are on his tail. And it is not only John Pearce who has his fair share of trouble. The triumphant Channel Fleet returns, but the battle is already the subject of controversy - and Ralph Barclay is accused of holding back from the action.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Pedestrian

    • By Phil Stuart-Douek on 22-01-15

    Regular price: £15.09

  • Book 10

    • A Divided Command

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22

    Unbeknown to John Pearce, the private letter he is delivering on behalf of the prime minister carries the dismissal of the very man he is sailing to see. The need for a government majority to pursue the war with France means John Pearce must step down as Britain’s best sailor, regretfully relinquishing the position to the incompetent Admiral Hotham. Hotham is equally less than pleased about John Pearce, as he is the one person who knows the truth about his dishonest naval career.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • excellent read

    • By Paul on 10-02-16

    Regular price: £15.09

  • Book 11

    • The Devil to Pay

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25

    It's 1794. Stuck in Palermo harbour, the headstrong Lieutenant John Pearce and his trusty Pelicans must repair the battle-damaged HMS Larcher with only meagre funds to do so. Sailing into danger, they encounter enemies. Pearce has no option but to run until, trapped in an Italian bay, he is forced to abandon his ship. Pearce must face a court martial for his actions, but his troubles are only just beginning.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • What comes next

    • By Lingwelli on 15-06-15

    Regular price: £19.99

  • Book 12

    • The Perils of Command

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 23
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 21
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21

    John Pearce, having negotiated the highly questionable sale of the two French prizes taken in The Devil to Pay, has left HMS Flirt, as well as the crew and the wounded Henry Digby in Brindisi, and is headed for Naples to see his lover. In an uncomfortable journey, he seeks to work out a way to best both Admiral Sir William Hotham and Captain Ralph Barclay, men who are his sworn enemies. All his calculations are thrown into turmoil when he discovers that Emily is pregnant.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • great left me wanting more

    • By Jamie on 15-08-17

    Regular price: £20.69

  • Book 13

    • A Treacherous Coast

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15

    Winter 1795. Lieutenant John Pearce, reckoning to have finally ditched his old enemy, Admiral Hotham, has found a new one in Henry Digby, previously a friend. Meanwhile, Pearce's pregnant and recently widowed lover is adamant they cannot be seen together for the sake of their unborn child as she seeks respectability in society. Aboard HMS Flirt as part of the squadron led by Horatio Nelson, Pearce and his Pelicans soon join them on a reconnaissance which results in the destruction of a key French battery.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great series

    • By mick butler on 18-09-17

    Regular price: £20.69

  • Book 14

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  • Book 15

    • A Close Run Thing

    • By: David Donachie
    • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
    • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 4

    John Pearce is hiding in Gravelines with his mysterious companion, known to him as Oliphant. Although they find a crew willing to take them back to England, they learn on the journey that Pearce’s old enemies, the Tolland brothers, are still active on the route and may have been responsible for the murder of Catherine Carruthers. Back in England their problems continue: Pearce must seek to mend fences with Emily Barclay, in a relationship in which nothing is simple.

    Regular price: £18.59