This is a delightful paperback with a selection of the best of short British sea stories ever written, thoughtfully put together by Desmond Fforde, a retired Merchant Navy officer of 23 years. Fforde has given us a rare combination; some of the yarns are fictional and some are not, and it is this that makes the book so different. After a brief introduction the reader is plunged headlong into the world of Hornblower as a young officer, followed by a few dramatic pages from Peter Simple by Captain Marryat. The authors of the next seven stories read like a Whose Who? of the genre - F C Hendry, Captain D Bone, Nicholas Monsarrat, G Drake, Weston Martyr, Charles MacHardy and finally John Winton. The stories stretch chronologically from the war at sea against Revolutionary France in a ship of the line through to an aircraft carrier of the second world war in the Pacific. This means that the nature of the tales, the ships and the terminology change with time, but strangely not the resolute nature of the British seaman. As the notes on the back cover point out, "our ships, our sailors and tales of the sea are inextricably woven into our history, our culture and our folklore." Never a truer word was spoken.
This book is pure joy, great value, with the profits going to a deserving medical charity.
(former Editor 'The Nelson Dispatch')