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Ships and Men

“The seamen are a nation by themselves, a humorous and fantastic people, fierce and rude and resolute in whatsoever they resolve or are inclined to.”

Spanning three centuries, David Hannay’s Ships and Men is a broad and brilliant look at the history of men at sea.

Hannay uses every source of knowledge he can find – not just ships’ logs and diaries but plays and books.

One of the most fascinating elements of this book is Hannay’s use of court transcripts to build a picture of the kinds of scandals, mutinies and fraud cases that make a history like this exciting to read.

These transcripts tell a fascinating tale of how men lived, and what their struggles were, and their frustrations with the military.

Ships and Men talks about the history of impressment, the stagnation of wages, and the ways that men found to get around those things.

Hannay also writes about the terrifying heyday of pirates’ raids and the success of the French Corsairs.

From the common sailor to military leaders such as Nelson and Napoleon, Hannay collects some of the most fascinating and interesting parts of maritime history. Anyone looking for a tale of intrigue and adventure need look no further.

Praise for David Hannay

‘All Hannay’s literary work was marked by the freshness, vigour and directness which were characteristic of the man himself.’ – The Times

‘A delightful little volume.’ – The Spectator

David Hannay (1853-1934) was an author and lecturer in naval history. He also wrote for the Scots Observer, the Times Literary Supplement and the Pall Mall Gazette. His father had served in the Royal Navy.

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