Nelson’s Ships: A History of the Vessels in Which He Served 1771 – 1805 by Peter Goodwin

Nelson’s Ships: A History of the Vessels in Which He Served 1771 – 1805 by Peter Goodwin soon to be presented for sale on the inspired BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: Conway Maritime Press, 2002, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Jacket illustration: Nelson’s Flagships at Anchor, 1807 by Nicholas Pocock. This is a composite image of Nelson’s flagships at the Spithead anchorage painted in 1807. From left to right, Agamemnon, Vanguard (showing her broadside), stern view of Elephant flying the flag of Vice-Admiral of the Blue, Captain and then Victory firing a salute and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral of the White. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Plates; Black & White Drawings; Diagrams; Maps; Tables; Plans;

From the cover: Much has been written about Nelson, the man and his successful career from midshipman to great commander, culminating with his glorious death at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805. Added to this, considerable literary works have been published about his flagship at that famous battle, HMS Victory, but little has been written about the other vessels in which he served throughout his career, providing him with experience vital to his professional and personal development.

Beginning with HMS Raisonnable, the 3rd Rate 64-gun ship in which Nelson began his naval career at the start of 1771, Nelsons Ships provides a service history of the 25 Royal Navy vessels in which Nelson served. All the famous ships-of-the-line are included: Agamemnon, the vessel of which he assumed command in 1793, Captain, which he commanded at Cape St. Vincent, Vanguard, flagship at the Nile and of course Victory. For the first time many of the smaller ships Nelson served in such as Carcass, Badger and La Minerve, are examined. A final chapter is devoted to the 12 ships in which Nelson served only for a very brief period of time.

A comprehensive background to each vessel is provided examining the design, construction and armament. A full service history then follows including the actions in which the ship participated, any modifications that were made, refit histories and costs, a complete list of the commanding officers of the ship and finally the ships ultimate fate. Numerous illustrations, superb plans and draughts specially drawn by the author, and a lavish colour artwork section complements the text.

The incidents that occurred whilst Nelson was on board each ship reveal an abridged version of his career and offer both the enthusiast and general reader an insight into the man himself. Utilising the ships logs allows the work to examine many important issues in Nelsons navy such as victualling and health, discipline and punishment, ship handling and repair thus providing a fascinating insight into the reality of life at sea and disproving many of the myths surrounding the Georgian navy. Fully researched and developed by one of the most well known and respected Nelson historians, Nelsons Ships is an invaluable work for both the academic and enthusiast alike.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Slight rippling to the foot of the leaves, possibly caused by slight damp at some time, but inoffensive.

Burgundy boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 312 pages. Index. Bibliography. 12″ x 10″.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I fascinate you with a carefully selected medley hither or maybe further, hand picked, books in my Military Naval catalogue?

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