Young Nelsons

Young Nelsons

Boy sailors during the Napoleonic Wars

  • Author: D. A. B. Ronald
  • Publication Date: 20 Mar 2012
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About this Product

They 'fought like young Nelsons.' The words of a schoolmaster, writing from aboard the Mars after the battle of Trafalgar, describing the valour of his pupils in the heat of battle. Made immortal by the novels of Patrick O'Brian, C. S. Forester and Alexander Kent, these boy sailors, alongside those of every other Royal Navy ship, had entered the British Navy to fight the French across every ocean of the world. There was a long-standing British tradition of children going to sea, and along the way found adventure, glory, wealth and fame. During the Napoleonic Wars, these children, some as young as eight or nine, were also fighting for the very survival of Britain. Drawing on many first-hand accounts, letters, poems and writings, this book tells the dramatic story of Britain's boy sailors during the Napoleonic Wars for the very first time.

Biographical Note

D.A.B. Ronald is a writer and historian. He studied at Edinburgh University, where he gained a Master of Arts Honours Degree in History and French, and is currently completing a PhD at Exeter University on contemporary representation of boy sailors in Britain's Navy during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. After a 30-year career in merchant banking, during which he lived overseas for many years in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and the United States Douglas returned to the U.K. Now a full-time writer, he is researching a companion volume to Young Nelsons on the boy soldiers who served during the Napoleonic Wars.

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