Introduction by Ruddock F. Mackay
Readers who love a great sea story from the age of fighting sail will enjoy this lively narrative by outspoken British officer William Stanhope Lovell. During the course of his career Vice Adm. Lovell sailed the world with one of history's great navies and participated in the Blockade of Brest, the expedition to Egypt, the Battle of Trafalgar, the Peninsular Wars with Wellington, and the invasion of the Chesapeake during the War of 1812, where he took part in the attack on Washington. This stylishly written account combines vivid descriptions of the famous engagements with no-holds-barred opinions about everything from the "most dastardly" American stratagem of booby-trapping invaders with torpedoes made of "barrels of powder made fast to casks of flour" to Lovell's belief that with wiser political management the British and Americans would have settled their quarrel without conflict.
First published in 1839 under the title Personal Narrative of Events, From 1799 to 1815, with Anecdotes, Lovell's book has had a lasting appeal, leading to subsequent editions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With a new introduction by a noted English naval historian, this treasury of first-person observations is a worthy addition to the Classics of Naval Literature series.