Welcome to the personal website of Michael Gorey. I'm a Bundaberg-based communications professional interested in photography, reading, history, politics and travel.
This book would actually be a good starting point for anyone who stumbles across the Prohaska series by John Biggins, as I did.
It is chronologically first, tracing the career and life of Otto Prohaska from small-town Bohemia to the Imperial and Royal Navy of Austria-Hungary.
Young Otto studies at the Naval Academy, learning 19th century sailing skills that will be largely irrelevant in the looming Great War.
He travels around the world on a secret mission to find a missing Archduke, experiencing many adventures along the way.
Some have described the Prohaska stories as similar to George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman, but Otto is much more decent.
There are many zany encounters though, such as with cannibals in the Pacific, and a failed effort to establish an Austro-Hungarian colony in West Africa.
The pace can be a little slow at times, but the historical detail appears faithful to circumstances for major events and the technology of the era.
I can recommend this book and the series to anyone who wants a genuine insight into a bygone power of old Europe.