When the Rev. Dr. Simple sent his son Peter into the Navy, he was following the tradition that the biggest fool of the family should be dedicated to the defence of the realm. So young Peter was torn from the apron-strings at the tender age of fourteen, and launched into the world to sink or swim by his own efforts. The vigorous life of a midshipman, adventures in all parts of the world, and contact with all sorts of people, gentlemen bullies, rogues, practical jokers and press-gangers, and, not least, the unremitting attentions of a severe boatswain, Gentleman Chucks, combined to make a man of the clergyman's son. When he had attained the rank of lieutenant, however, he unfortunately fell foul of a bullying captain, whom he defied. As a result of this, Lieutenant Peter Simple had to leave His Majesty's Service. But later good fortune befalls him. He marries an heiress, and succeeds, to a title and estates. At the end of the book it is Peter Simple, Viscount Privilege, " no longer the fool, but the head of the family," who says farewell to the readers of Captain Marryat's entertaining novel " The Adventures of Peter Simple."