The Star Captains was the first real analysis of the frigate captains of the Napoleonic wars. Unlike previous studies which had relied heavily an anecdotal material, The Star Captains was based on years of research undertaken for my doctorate.
The book identifies the real stars of the navy and demonstrates how and why they became the celebrities they did.
In particular, the book challenges the traditional view that only those with 'interest' or influence behind them got the plum jobs. The analysis here shows that in fact the Admiralty took great care to put its most skilful, daring and inspiring men in charge of its finest frigates.
The book considers the nature of command, and the brutal reality of naval combat.
First published in 2001, The Star Captains is still regarded as essential reading for an understanding of the Royal Navy during this period.
The Star Captains will soon be published as an e-book though I still have some original hard-back copies available at a reasonable rate. (Pease contact me if you would like to buy one).