The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini


Historical novel, set in the 16th century. Derring-do among the Barbary Corsairs.


Sea-Hawk – Historical novel by Rafael Sabatini.

Sea-Hawk set in the 16th century. Derring-do among the Barbary Corsairs.

Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman who helped the English defeat the Spanish Armada. His half-brother betrayed him, and he seeks refuge in the Middle East. He takes on a new role as a Barbary pirate.

Sir Oliver Tressilian lives at the estate of Penarrow with his brother, Lionel. Oliver betrothed to Rosamund Godolphin. Her hot-headed brother, Peter, detests the Tressilians due to an old feud between their fathers. Peter and Rosamund’s guardian, Sir John Killigrew, also has little love for the Tressilians.

Peter’s manipulations drive Oliver into a duel with Sir John. Sir John seriously wounded, further stoking Peter’s hatred. Peter attempts to bait Oliver into a violent confrontation, but Oliver is mindful of Rosamund’s warning never to meet her brother in an affair of honor. One evening, Lionel returns home, bloodied and exhausted. He has killed Peter in a duel, but there were no witnesses. Oliver widely believed to be Peter’s killer, and Lionel does nothing to disprove the accusations. To avoid repercussions for Peter’s death, Lionel has Oliver kidnapped and sold into slavery to ensure that he never reveals the truth. The slave ship catching up Spanish, and crew are added to the slaves.


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