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The HMS Agamemnon, a 64-gun ship of the line, became one of the best known vessels of the Royal Navy. Between 1793 and 1796 she was commanded by Horatio Nelson, who always referred to her as his favorite ship. This compelling narrative of the life of the famous warship and the fascinating characters involved with it includes extensive technical details of the building and operation of the "Wooden Walls," accounts of the conditions of life at sea during the Napoleonic Wars, histories of Agamemnon's operations, including the Trafalgar campaign, and details of Nelson's first command of a ship of the line. Throughout the book the famous warship is firmly placed in historical context. The human and technical aspects of naval service during three of the most crucial decades in British history--decades when the Royal Navy in general and Agamemnon in particular were at the center of events--are fully examined.
The author uses many contemporary sources, including the transcript of the court-martial of the ship's captain following her loss off the coast of present-day Uruguay in 1809, and for the first time details the Royal Navy's involvement in South American waters, a region of great strategic significance then as now.