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Interesting first hand accounts of the major battles
on 12 April 2013
Like many other books covering naval history during the French Revolutionary & Napoleonic wars, this volume concentrates on the major battles; The Glorious First of June, Cape St. Vincent, Camperdown, the Nile, Copenhagen, San Domingo and Trafalgar, of course. What this book provides is a view of these battles in terms of the first hand reports and dispatches. In so doing, it highlights that in many cases the eye-witness is an unreliable narrator. Not always deliberately so but there are obvious examples of where diplomacy, face-saving or personal trumpet-blowing (in Nelson's case) take precedence over objectivity.
I own several of Sam Willis' books. I find his style both informative and very readable. In this book he adds a overview of each event (although, I suspect, few of the book's potential readers will be entirely unfamiliar with them) and puts the documents in context, so you know when and why they were written as they were.