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Books for Adults - Nonfiction

Cover Art: Trafalgar
        Chronicle 2016
The Trafalgar Chronicle: Dedicated to Naval History in the Nelson Era
Edited by Peter Hore
Seaforth, 2016, ISBN 978-1-4738-9572-0, paperback US $29.95 / £20.00

From two friends who scampered off a warship to hunt polar bears on an iceberg,g to a fifteen-year-old’s account of the Battle of Northpoint, to HMS Victory’s appearance at the Battle of Trafalgar, to a seaman who became a marine artist, the twenty-sixth yearbook of The 1805 Club offers a cornucopia of topics for every reader. Some, like Horatio Nelson, HMS Victory, and J. M. W. Turner, are well-known; others, such as Nicholas Biddle, Frédéric Rolette, and the Duguay-Trouin, may only be familiar to a few.

This volume of The Trafalgar Chronicle begins a new series whose primary objective is to shed light on the relationship between the Royal Navy and the United States Navy. Peter Hore, the editor and a former naval officer, provides an outstanding collection of seventeen articles that shed light on new research about people and events from before the American Revolution through the conclusion of the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars. They are written by experts in their fields and avid researchers. These men and women include current and former military personnel, historians, curators, educators, and archivists.

While there is no index, the titles of the articles make it easy for readers to locate information.
Nicholas Biddle: America’s Revolutionary War Nelson by Chipp Reid
The Earliest Known ‘Stars and Stripes’ by Peter Hore
Nelson in Troubled Waters by Joseph F. Callo
The Chesapeake—Leopard Affair, 1807 by Anthony Bruce
Impressment: Politics and People by Kathryn Milburn
A Boy in Battle by Charles A. Fremantle
The Rocket’s Red Glare: Francis Scot Key and the Star-Spangled Banner by Charles Neimeyer
Frédéric Rolette: Un Canadien héros de la guerre de 1812 by Samuel Venière and Caroline Girard
Pathfinders: Front-line Hydrographic Data-gathering in the Wars of American Independence and 1812 by Michael Barritt
Charting the Waters: The Emergence of Modern Marine Charting and Surveying during the Career of James Cook in North American Waters, 1758-67 by Victor Suthren
Captain Archibald Kennedy, an American in the Royal Navy by Byrne McLeod
Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin: Nelson’s American Pallbearer by Peter Turner
What Did HMS Victory Actually Look Like at the Battle of Trafalgar? by John Conover
Thomas Butterworth: A Biographical Note of a Sailor Turned Artist by Kathryn Campbell
Port Mahon under Admiral Fremantle 1810-11 by Tom D. Fremantle
Sir Richard Stachan by Mark West
Samuel Brokensha, Master RN by Nigel Hughes
Black-and-white photographs and drawings accompany all the articles, some of which also direct readers to particular illustrations in the center section of color plates. Notes listing source material or providing additional information for each article are collected at the end of the book, as are brief biographies of the contributors.

The Trafalgar Chronicle offers a tantalizing look into forgotten or overlooked subjects. Its contents will enlighten all readers, and sometimes entertain them. When the back cover closes, each will have their own favorites for many different reasons, myself included. For example, Rear-Admiral Callo’s article allowed me to glimpse the history behind a novel I recently read. Charles Freemantle’s offering not only introduced me to his ancestor, but also allowed me to see Baltimore and its environs in the past through the eyes of a stranger during a time of war. These are but two of mine, although all the contributions taught me things I didn’t know. The next yearbook, whose emphasis will be on Royal Marines and the US Marine Corps during the Georgian Ear, sounds equally intriguing.

Review Copyrighted ©2017 Cindy Vallar
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