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Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain By Stephen Taylor,

  • Title: Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain
  • Author: Stephen Taylor
  • ISBN: 9780393071641
  • Page: 199
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Edward Pellew, captain of the legendary Indefatigable, was quite simply the greatest British frigate captain in the age of sail Left fatherless at age eight, with a penniless mother and five siblings, Pellew fought his way from the very bottom of the navy to fleet command Victories and eye catching feats won him a public following Yet he had a gift for antagonizing hisEdward Pellew, captain of the legendary Indefatigable, was quite simply the greatest British frigate captain in the age of sail Left fatherless at age eight, with a penniless mother and five siblings, Pellew fought his way from the very bottom of the navy to fleet command Victories and eye catching feats won him a public following Yet he had a gift for antagonizing his better born peers, and he made powerful enemies Redemption came with his last command, when he set off to do battle with the Barbary States and free thousands of European slaves Opinion held this to be an impossible mission, and Pellew himself, leading from the front in the style of his contemporary Nelson, did not expect to survive Pellew 8217 s humanity, fondness for subordinates, and blind love for his family, and the warmth and intimacy of his letters, make him a hugely engaging figure Stephen Taylor gives him at last the biography he deserves.
    Commander The Life and Exploits of Britain s Greatest Frigate Captain Edward Pellew captain of the legendary Indefatigable was quite simply the greatest British frigate captain in the age of sail Left fatherless at age eight with a penniless mother and five siblings

    One thought on “Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain”

    1. Pellew was England s greatest Frigate captain He won his spurs before anyone had heard of Nelson But although arising from similar simple and plain spoken origins , Pellew lacked the grace, devotion of subordinates, and Nelsonian quasi religious martyrdom at Trafalgar He suffered fools poorly, had no idea how to fit within London society despite a term as MP , and became life long enemies with Jervis St Vincent , a figure whose style should have complemented Pelew s This is a very good read Step [...]

    2. Though he s best known today from the fictional Hornblower series by C.S Forester, the real Sir Edward Pellew later 1st Viscount Exmouth was a far from obscure figure From his first command in the American Revolutionary War, where he played a key role in the the defeat of Benedict Arnold s makeshift American navy on Lake Champlain, to his success in the decades of war against France after the revolution, troubled Indian command, and the bombardment of Algiers also related in Gile s Milton s book [...]

    3. Sir Edward Pellew later Lord Exmouth is one of the great, relatively unknown heroes of the Napoleonic era Born of common stock, he acquitted himself as a sailor, tactician and leader of men from an early age in the American Revolutionary War or the War of Independence, as the other side referred to it in a boat battle against Benedict Arnold s forces in Canada, and went on to be one of the highest prize takers in the British Navy Captured enemy ships were taken as prize , with the Navy essential [...]

    4. I was very excited to read this book, but it took me ages to finish It s a bit dry and a bit repetitive writes the lawyer, used to reading dry, repetitive books There s a bad error made about Pellew being overdue to promotion to admiral, when the reality was promotion was strictly according to the Navy List that is, by seniority once you made captain, you had to wait your turn if you lived long enough, you d make admiral That s Age of Sail 101 It s possible the author meant something else, like [...]

    5. EXCELLENT book Sir Edward Pellew Lord Exmouth was far famous as Horatio Hornblower s mentor and for serving as a model for Jack Aubrey in the Aubreid But fiction did not do him justice While Nelson is the Immortal of the British Navy of the age, Pellew fought a number of single ship frigate actions far rarer than fiction would have you believe, it seems that marked him as the most capable seaman and captain of his time He excelled at training his crews into a very cohesive fighting force, and b [...]

    6. I really enjoyed this book The subject, Edward Pellew, is a fascinating and compelling character Pellew was a powerful, vital sea commander of great courage and zeal He treated his crews fairly, fought his enemies fiercely, and loved his family deeply His career showed what a leader can do who is willing to lead from the front, treat everyone with respect, and clearly focus the team on their goals The author also touched on Pellew s weaknesses such as pushing his older sons too fast into careers [...]

    7. A well written and carefully researched biography of one of the less well known heroes of the Royal Navy during the wars against France, Sir Edward Pellew Taylor s book is thorough, perceptive, and an excellent introduction to Pellew, who has become unfortunately mostly a footnote thanks to his role in one of C.S Forester s Hornblower novels Great reading, a fine and sympathetic portrait of a very complicated man, and highly recommended.

    8. Great read of one of the best Frigate Commanders England had Somehow Pellew s accomplishments are obscured in Nelson s shadow but Taylor makes that case that he was the better fighting sailor.

    9. Although my prior impression of Captain Pellew was from, as most readers, C.S Forester s Hornblower series, I am very pleased to say that the author of this well written biography has done a great job Also, I would even say that the British actor Robert Linsay played the role very very well in the acclaimed Hornblower mini TV series.It s no doubt that CS Forester blended Pellew co into the fictions masterfully For example, the cutting out of the French corvette Papillon in Midshipman Hornblower [...]

    10. All of the interesting stuff seems to have happened after he retired Unforntunately, that means the first 2 3s of the book are very engaging.

    11. Fascinating story poorly told The author gets in the way of his subject time and again, telling the reader what to think Passable but not much

    12. Ein Gl ck, dass sich nach bald schon wieder einem Jahrhundert ein neuer Autor dieser faszinierenden Pers nlichkeit angenommen hat Das einzige, was sich dieser Schreiber im Vergleich mit seinen Vorg ngern vorwerfen lassen muss, ist, dass er ein wenig trockener schreibt Was f r eine Biografie allerdings kein Genickbruch ist Zumal ich, wie in den anderen Reviews schon angedeutet, mich bei den Vorg ngern durchaus oft gewundert hat, was der ein oder andere Paragraph berhaupt in einer Biografie verlor [...]

    13. Christmas present My wife really loves me I m on page 99 now It s a fascinating read Despite the author s initial protestations that the Life of Edward Pellew, the Commander and subject of this book, formed the basis for O Brian s Jack Aubrey, so far I see parallels to Forester s Horatio Hornblower It s like Forester stole Pellew s life and gave it to Hornblower But that s OK O Brian is a poor writer when compared to Forester I read O Brian s Master and Commander and found it jarring and clumsy [...]

    14. This was a solid bio with plenty of lovely footnotes and I m sure, if not for Mrs Pellew Lady Exmouth s vigilance about their privacy which led to the destruction of most of their personal letters , there would have been many While I always admire the motives for such acts of destruction we owe the paucity of our knowledge concerning Jane Austen s most private feelings to her sister s prowess with scissors, so to speak , there is no denying that it makes biographies a lot less satisfying Someti [...]

    15. Quick, name a historical British naval officer Now name another, this time not Nelson.If you recognize the name Edward Pellew , it s probably as a character in fictional works such as C S Forester s Horatio Hornblower novels rather than as the real life man That s unfortunate, for if any of Nelson s contemporaries deserves to be remembered, it s Pellew, the greatest seaman of his age.The book is a well researched biography Taylor makes good use of letters from the Pellew s family, friends, rival [...]

    16. Navy Captains were usually thought respectable suitors, although whether Edward Pellew fitted Jane Austen s genteel model for the type is another matter Stephen Taylor Commander The Life and Exploits of Britain s Greatest Frigate Captain pg 55 Succouring the helpless was bound up with his ideals of the knight errant ideals that smack today of quaint romanticism but chimed with Jane Austen s notion of a fraternity of Navy officers, described in Persuasion as having in their brotherliness, their o [...]

    17. Another one bites the dust A biography of Admiral Lord Exmouth is long overdue, and Stephen Taylor, a former journalist, has had access to materials not seen prior to this publication Unfortunately, the narrative Taylor has produced is structurally a mess He s crossed the Admiral s chronology with a division of personal and professional that has a ping pong effect on the reader Further, he is obsessed with explaining why Exmouth was such a contrary character he hits the reader over the head with [...]

    18. I have been a Hornblower fan since 1975 when while assigned in Thailand we received USO morale packages with the Hornblower novels in them I recommend them to all for the excitement and life lessons contained there in How is this relevant to this book you ask Captain Edward Pellew of the Indefatigable was Hornblower s fictional mentor in the C.S Forester series Horatio Hornblower tried to emulate his mentor, Captain Edward Pellew This book, Commander by Stephan Taylor, is about Sir Edward, Lord [...]

    19. I might be admitting some ignorance here but I didn t know Pellew was a real person, I assumed he was just a character in the Hornblower stories Finding this book was a revelation, and reading it was fascinating I ve found history books, and biography books in particular, difficult to get on with They have to really grab my attention to keep me reading.This one managed just that With plenty of foreshadowing, a great tale of the man who lived in Nelson s shadow, some swashbuckling adventures and [...]

    20. Pellew served his country well in many different ways, but is best remembered as a frigate captain, in particular the INDEFATIGABLE He enjoyed the independence of a frigate, and the loyal following of the men who served under him Unfortunately as he rose in rank he encountered the politics and jealousy of others in high command such as Lord St Vincent This book makes it clear that service within the wooden walls could be a trying and dangerous life which usually started at a very young age.The a [...]

    21. The career of Sir Edward Pellew later Lord Exmouth mirrored the growth of British sea power Progression in the Royal Navy was a mix of ambition, ability, courage, nepotism and luck There was also money plenty of it to be made through the prize system Pellew climbed his way from the very bottom of the social and naval ladder to be a celebrated admiral and member of the aristocracy Despite this, he was an outsider and his plain speaking upset his higher born contemporaries Readers of Patrick O Bri [...]

    22. Enjoyed the history of Sir Edward Pellew A fan of Hornblower, I read C S Forrester and all that I could get my hands on in terms of fiction and non fiction The writing takes some getting used to There are some awkward phrases here and there, but all in all the writing doesn t get in the way of the history The research and insights gleaned from serious study of Pellew was clearly evident while not being just a chain of facts However, it was not as well written as Roy Atkins and Nelsons Trafalgar, [...]

    23. A brilliant account of a frigate commander who, but for Nelson s martyrdom, may have become the most renowned in British naval history His exploits, allied with a magnanimity ahead of his time, can only make you admire the man assuming the author s account is faithful The battle accounts are legion, culminating in a stirring description of the brave assault on Algiers This is one of those books you don t need to be particularly interested in the subject to read it s rather a universal story of h [...]

    24. I found this to be a thoroughly excellent history, well written and paced, and very readable An amazing story of Britain s greatest seaman, and as the author would out it, the greatest frigate captain The punitive fleet action against Algiers made for fairly gripping reading, especially since I did not know the particulars of that event I came to know Pellew through Hornblower, probably like many, and was glad to see him get his due in Taylor s book Recommended.

    25. A scrupulously researched and very fair telling of the life and achievements of the man who was argueably The Greatest British Sea Officer of the Age of Sail He suffered from the effects of living a long life and not the martyred saintdom of Nelson He deserves to be remembered for who he trully was and not merely the fictionalized mentor of Horatio Hornblower After all the Truth is stranger and better than fiction.

    26. It was the first real biography I read, the book is gripping from the first pages I really liked the Hornblower series, but Pellew s exploits in real life are possibly jaw dropping than those of the guarding superior officer in Hornblower Personally I think it s a bio that covers both the good and bad sides of britains greatest frigate captain.

    27. Excellent revelation of how the vagueries of Celebrity History can raise or obscure.The subject Edward Pewell a contemporary of Horatio Nelson his equal in origins, seamanship career achievements, yet largely unknown ignored.

    28. For anyone who likes the Jack Aubrey or Horatio Hornblower books, this is the real thing A well told biography of Edward Pellew, the real life model for both of those fictional British Naval captains Very enjoyable.

    29. a rollicking good read on one of England s great naval heroes, overshadowed in his own time and ours by Nelson, but worthy of memory Rare among books I ve read from this time period in that our hero doesn t die in penury or see all his children carried off by diseases

    30. Interesting book Initially not what at face value would appeal to female readers However, the author creates the story around a man who is brave and heroic yet suffers the human condition of self doubt and interestingly blind to the flaws in his children.

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