Captain Blood: His Odyssey is an adventure novel by Rafael Sabatini, originally published in 1922.
Sabatini was a proponent of basing historical fiction as closely as possible on history. Although Blood is a fictional character, much of the historical background of the novel is based on fact. The Monmouth rebels were sold into slavery as described in the book; and the shifting political alliances of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 are used in the novel as a plot device to allow Blood’s return to respectability.
Sabatini based the first part of the story of Blood on Henry Pitman, a surgeon who tended the wounded Monmouth rebels and was sentenced to death by Judge Jeffreys, but his sentence was commuted to penal transportation to Barbados where he escaped and was captured by pirates. Unlike the fictional Blood, Pitman did not join them, and eventually made his way back to England where he wrote a popular account of his adventures. For Blood’s life as a buccaneer, Sabatini used several models, including Henry Morgan and the work of Alexandre Exquemelin, for historical details.
The protagonist is the sharp-witted Dr. Peter Blood, a fictional Irish physician who had had a wide-ranging career as a soldier and sailor (including a commission as a captain under the Dutch admiral De Ruyter) before settling down to practice medicine in the town of Bridgwater in Somerset.
The book opens with him attending to his geraniums while the town prepares to fight for James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. He wants no part in the rebellion, but while attending to some of the rebels wounded at the Battle of Sedgemoor, he gets arrested.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 – 13 February 1950) was an Italian-English writer of romance and adventure novels. He is best known for his worldwide bestsellers: The Sea Hawk (1915), Scaramouche (1921), Captain Blood (a.k.a. The Odyssey of Captain Blood) (1922), and Bellarion the Fortunate (1926). In all, Sabatini produced 34 novels, eight short story collections, six non-fiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and several plays.