Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815

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9780471185178: Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815
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Praise for BROADSIDES

"Pace the pitching black deck with a sleepless Admiral Nelson the night before battle bestows eternal rest and peerless immortality upon him; envision with Mahan the storm-tossed and ever-watchful ships-of-the-line that kept England secure from invasion; wonder in awe at Collingwood's dedication in working himself to death after Trafalgar elevated him to primary responsibility for England's imperial safety in the Mediterranean. All of this and more awaits the reader who will sail through these pages, every one of which is etched with the indelible expertise and boundless enthusiasm of Nathan Miller, master of naval history."--Kenneth J. Hagan, Professor of History and Museum Director Emeritus, U.S. Naval Academy, Professor of Strategy, U.S. Naval War College

"This is not just inspired naval history--the personal lives of the seafarers themselves, from cabin boy to admiral, are given generous treatment."--The Times (London)

"A wealth of detail...Descriptions of dreadful living conditions aboard cramped wooden vessels give way to bloody decks after close combat....A solid introduction to a turbulent era at sea."--Publishers Weekly

"[As] a companion to the popular nautical novels of C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian--it succeeds brilliantly."--Daily Telegraph (London)

"The descriptions of the great sea commanders and their battles display all the craft of the gifted writer....Read Broadsides for enjoyment as a well-informed, action-packed naval narrative."--The Christ Church Press

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Review:

In the late 18th century, it was widely thought that to be a sailor was little better than to be a slave. "No man will be a sailor," wrote Samuel Johnson, "who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail. A man in jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."

If that were true, historian Nathan Miller suggests, then the record of sailing in the age of tall ships would likely be distinguished by few heroes and fewer grand narratives. He counters that in the regular navies of England, the fledgling United States, and most other nations, brutal captains and thuggish crewmen were rare, and professionalism was the order of the day. It was their high standard of service that made those naval forces such powerful, even indispensable arms of the land-based military. Miller's great hero throughout this fine history is Horatio Nelson, whose valor was exemplary throughout countless battles around the world. But he writes with equal admiration of lesser-known figures, such as Lambert Wickes, Pierre de Villeneuve, Juan de Cordova, and "Foul Weather Jack" Byron, who served their nations and fellow sailors well, and often heroically.

Broadsides is an entertaining, illuminating history sure to please fans of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forester. --Gregory McNamee

From the Inside Flap:

Few eras hold greater fascination for us than the Age of Fighting Sail, the forty-year period from 1775 to 1815. And few writers are as well qualified to bring this adventure-packed period to life as the critically acclaimed naval historian and biographer Nathan Miller. Now, in the first modern chronicle of the epic of wooden ships and pigtailed sailors, Miller provides essential reading for devotees of the popular nautical novels of Patrick O?Brian, C. S. Forester, Alexander Kent, and others. Broadsides covers the naval side of the American Revolution, the twenty-two year struggle between Britain?s hard-pressed Royal Navy and France that began in 1793, the foundation of the U.S. Navy and America?s forgotten undeclared naval war with France along with their struggle against the Barbary pirates, and closes with the War of 1812. One man, the legendary Horatio Nelson, epitomizes this era, and his personal story is the keel of this book, although the tale continues for another decade following Nelson?s tragic death at Trafalgar at the height of victory. Written with a bold sense of adventure and teeming with detail, Broadsides not only clearly reconstructs the naval battles of the era, but integrates them with the political and social forces that shaped our world. In addition to Nelson, its pages are graced by such fighting sailors as John Paul Jones, George Rodney, John Jervis, Thomas Truxtun, Edward Preble, Stephen Decatur, Edward Pellew (mentor of the fictional Horatio Hornblower), and the fiery Lord Cochrane (whose adventures provided a model for those of a young Jack Aubrey). Nor are the administrators slighted: Receiving their due are Benjamin Stoddert, the first U.S. Secretary of the Navy; Lord Barham, who directed the fleets that hemmed in Napoleon; and William Pitt, the architect of Britain?s victory over the French emperor. Broadsides also provides a richly textured look at the lives of the men and ??in an astonishing number of cases??the women who served in the swift-sailing frigates and mighty ships of the line. We learn how they were recruited, how they lived at sea, what they ate, and what they wore. For the first time in such a work, there is a discussion of homosexuality at sea and the savage punishments meted out for it. Here, too, is a clearly written account of how wooden fighting ships were built and sailed and how their guns were fired in battle. Miller also offers his readers the unique opportunity to learn the naval terms, tactics, and techniques integral to the period. Based on exhaustive research drawn from log books, official reports, letters, and memoirs, Miller presents an irresistible, brilliant exploration of the Age of Fighting Sail. The result is a gripping adventure in which the steadfastness of those serving at sea in that long-ago era have much to teach us in the modern age.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781620456859: Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815

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ISBN 10:  1620456850 ISBN 13:  9781620456859
Publisher: Wiley, 2001
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9781620455777: Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815

Wiley, 2001
Hardcover

9780471078357: Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815

Wiley, 2001
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9780785820222: Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail 1775 1815

Castle, 2005
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