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The Pen & Ink Sailor: Charles Middleton and the King’s Navy, 1778-1813, by John E. Talbot

London.: Frank Cass, 1998. Pp. xvi, 172. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $24.50 paper. ISBN:0-7146-4452-8.

This is an interesting, insightful biography of a largely forgotten man who, though a veteran sea dogs with a distinguished record as a ship’s captain, was a particularly capable administrator. Middleton – later Lord Barham – served in various administrative posts, rising to First Lord of the Admiralty during one of the most trying periods in the history of the Royal Navy, the wars of the American and French Revolutions and of Napoleon. In addition to remarkable administrative and strategic abilities, Middleton was also instrumental in getting the Royal Navy to adopt carronades and coppered hulls. A valuable book for anyone interested in the Royal Navy or war at sea.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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