Drawing on many contemporary sources and eyewitness accounts, this book examines the lives of the ordinary sailors of the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815), detailing their attitudes, duties, comforts, hardships, vices and virtues. The popular image of the British sailor of this time is of a press-ganged wretch living off weevil-infested food, motivated only by prize money and facing constant hazards aboard a floating hell, where discipline was maintained by the lash. The extent to which this enduring image accords with reality is revealed here.
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About the Author
Gregory Fremont-Barnes holds a doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University. He is the author of The French Revolutionary Wars, The Peninsular War, The Fall of the French Empire, 1813–1815 and The Boer War, 1899–1902. He is currently editing a four-volume Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and co-editing a five-volume Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War.