Readers of Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forester will enjoy this collection of contemporary accounts about life in the Royal Navy from 1793 to 1815, many of which form the basis of the fiction series of both writers. Editors King and Hattendorf, whose previous works, Sea of Words and Harbors and High Seas (both Holt, 1996), are commendable companion volumes to O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels, have gathered together the best accounts from the period and presented them in chronological order. With just enough narrative to link the passages, the book moves smoothly from chapter to chapter. Many selections have been long out of print; among the best are William Dillon's "Of the Glorious First of June," Thomas Cochrane's "Cruise of the Speedy," and William Beatty's "Death of Lord Nelson." Recommended for all collections.David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L.