Young Nelsons – Boy Sailors during the Napoleonic Wars
by D.A.B. Ronald
A brief book review by Tony Gerard
This was an easy book for me to put down. I’m not saying it was bad- just not overly interesting. It should really have been about midshipmen during this period, because that is 90 percent of the content. Ship’s boys get a mention, but that’s about it. I’m not really faulting Ronald for that since information pertaining to them directly is practically nonexistent, but why try and include something on which you have no material?
The book takes a historical timeline approach, following the major events of the war with its chapters. It gives lots of period quotes, which is good, from a number of different midshipmen. However I never really felt I got a good feel for any particular individual, which I think would have made the book a more interesting read. I don’t “not recommend” this book, especially for someone doing a midshipman impression, I just don’t think it should be top of your “to read” list. That place should be reserved for “Jack Tar” by Roy and Leslie Adkins.