Every Man Will Do His Duty: An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts from the Age of Nelson 1793–1815

Open Road Media
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Napoleonic-era accounts of life aboard Royal Navy warships: “Readers of Patrick O’Brian and C. S. Forester will enjoy this collection” (Library Journal).
  At the dawn of the nineteenth century, the British Navy was the mightiest instrument of war the world had ever known. The Royal Navy patrolled the seas from India to the Caribbean, connecting an empire with footholds in every corner of the earth. Such a massive Navy required the service of more than 100,000 men—from officers to deckhands to surgeons. These are their stories.  The inspiration for the bestselling novels by Patrick O’Brian and C. S. Forester, these memoirs and diaries, edited by Dean King, provide a true portrait of life aboard British warships during one of the most significant eras of world history. Their tellers are officers and ordinary sailors, and their subjects range from barroom brawls to the legendary heroics of Lord Horatio Nelson himself. Though these “iron men on wooden ships” are long gone, their deeds echo through the centuries.
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About the author

Dean King is an award-winning and bestselling author of narrative nonfiction and other works on historical and maritime adventure, including A Sea of Words (1995), Harbors and High Seas (1996), and Every Man Will Do His Duty (1997), all companion works to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturinnovels. A foremost expert on O’Brian, King also published a biography of the acclaimed author, entitled Patrick O’Brian: A Life Revealed (2000). Most recently, King has published the national bestseller Skeletons on the Zahara (2004), about twelve shipwrecked American sailors’ hellish journey across the Sahara Desert, and Unbound (2010), about the women who embarked on Mao’s Long March in 1934. King’s writing has also appeared inGranta, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Men’s Journal, Outside,andthe New York Times.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Mar 20, 2012
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Pages
444
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ISBN
9781453238325
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
History / Military / Naval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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First published in 1997, The Real Hornblower offers a comprehensive and engaging account of the life and times of this great naval Admiral. Ever since C.S. Forester's fictional hero Horatio Hornblower began to delight and enthral readers, there has been speculation as to whether his adventures were based on the career of a real naval officer. Several names were suggested; the general conclusion was that Hornblower was a composite character.

However, while researching the campaign that resulted in the burning of Washington's public buildings, Bryan Perret consulted Forester's Naval War of 1812 and was surprised to discover that the author had been deliberately reticent regarding a Captain James Alexander Gordon, RN, who had led his squadron up the Potomac. Further inspection of naval records revealed a startling number of parallels between the careers of Gordon and Hornblower. Subsequent research spanning a period of ten years uncovered yet more similarities – too many, in fact, to be a matter of simple coincidence. It became apparent that, while Forester certainly included other episodes in the Hornblower cycle, he was aware of Gordon when the first of his books were written, and that when he decided to expand the series he chose Gordon's career as the framework on which his hero's life would be based.

As a professional author, it was neither surprising that he should conceal the fact, nor that he should choose Gordon as his model. Gordon had entered the Royal Navy as a semi-literate eleven-year-old and rose to become Admiral of the Fleet. He took part in major sea battles, frigate actions, single-ship duels and operations far behind enemy lines. It was the fire of his ships, directed against Fort McHenry, Baltimore, that inspired the National Anthem. He was the last Governor of the Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich, and when he died, having served for more than seventy five years in the Navy, The Times commented that he was' the last of Nelson's captains'. That he should have attracted Forster's attention is not, therefore, surprising. In telling the largely unknown story of Admiral Gordon's active service career, Bryan Perrett has produced a book that will be appreciated by the thousands of readers who have enjoyed the adventures of Horatio Hornblower and his successors. It will also be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the naval warfare of the Napoleonic era, while those who take pleasure in biography will find that they have the added bonus of an absorbing literary and historical detective story.

Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
From Roger Knight, established by his multi-award winning book The Pursuit of Victory as 'an authority ... none of his rivals can match' (N.A.M. Rodger), Britain Against Napoleon is the first book to explain how the British state successfully organised itself to overcome Napoleon - and how very close it came to defeat.

For more than twenty years after 1793, the French army was supreme in continental Europe, and the British population lived in fear of French invasion. How was it that despite multiple changes of government and the assassination of a Prime Minister, Britain survived and won a generation-long war against a regime which at its peak in 1807 commanded many times the resources and manpower?

This book looks beyond the familiar exploits of the army and navy to the politicians and civil servants, and examines how they made it possible to continue the war at all. It shows the degree to which, as the demands of the war remorselessly grew, the whole British population had to play its part. The intelligence war was also central. Yet no participants were more important, Roger Knight argues, than the bankers and traders of the City of London, without whose financing the armies of Britain's allies could not have taken the field.

The Duke of Wellington famously said that the battle which finally defeated Napoleon was 'the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life': this book shows how true that was for the Napoleonic War as a whole.

Roger Knight was Deputy Director of the National Maritime Museum until 2000, and now teaches at the Greenwich Maritime Institute at the University of Greenwich. In 2005 he published, with Allen Lane/Penguin, The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson, which won the Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military History, the Mountbatten Award and the Anderson Medal of the Society for Nautical Research. The present book is a culmination of his life-long interest in the workings of the late 18th-century British state.

#1 New York Times Bestseller

From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. 

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
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