The Rodney Papers, Volume I, 1742-1763:
Title Details

540 Pages

22.4 x 14.8 cm

Series: Navy Records Society Publications

Series Vol. Number: 148

Imprint: The Navy Records Society

The Rodney Papers, Volume I, 1742-1763:

The Rodney Papers: Selections from the Correspondence of Admiral Lord Rodney

Edited by David Syrett

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This is the first of two volumes of Admiral Lord Rodney's correspondence edited by Professor David Syrett


This is the first of two volumes of Admiral Lord Rodney's correspondence edited by Professor David Syrett, Distinguished Professor of History at Queen's College, City University of New York, and published after his untimely death in 2004.


Volume I covers Rodney's early career from his promotion to post-captain in 1742 to the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. Somewhat overshadowed, like most of his contemporaries, by Nelson, George Brydges Rodney is nevertheless one of the great British admirals of the Age of Sail. A further factor in his having attracted comparatively little attention from both historians and the public is his personality: larger than life, overbearing, avaricious, difficult and uncongenial. Despite being an original thinker of considerable importance in naval affairs, there are only two significant biographies, Mundy's of 1830,now widely regarded as an inaccurate attempt to rehabilitate its subject, and Spinney's from 1969 which is based on extensive research in manuscript sources.


Born in 1718, Rodney came from an aristocratic but impoverished background, his father having lost the family fortune in the 'South Sea Bubble', which perhaps to some extent explains his own enthusiastic pursuit of wealth. His early career benefited from the support of the Duke of Chandos, a close relative. Having been entered on the books of HMS Sunderland at the age of 14, he was lieutenant at 22 and, less than two years later in 1743, post-captain without having been a commander.


The first part of this volume covers the period up to the end of the War of Austrian Succession and includes both Rodney's successful pursuit of prize money and, notably, his involvement under Hawke in the Battle of Cape Finisterre. The second part covers the 10 years up to 1759 when Rodney was promoted rear admiral of the Blue Squadron. Although a relatively quiet period in his naval career, it saw him elected to parliament, married and widowed and experiencing severe illness, all of which had profound influence on his later career. The third part covers the remaining four years up to the end of the Seven Years War in 1763 which saw Rodney initially in command of a squadron bombarding and subsequently blockading Le Havre to frustrate French preparations for an invasion of England. Thereafter, in 1761 he was appointed over the heads of numerous senor officers to Commander-in-Chief of the squadron in the Leeward Islands in which role he directed the naval operations leading to the capture of Martinique and with it the collapse of the entire French position in the region.


While this first tranche of documents overwhelmingly concerns Rodney's career as a naval officer, they also present interesting glimpses of his political and personal life. The picture that emerges is that of a very talented and extremely ambitious naval officer making his way in the world with all the means at his command.
Preface
Editorial Policies
Abbreviations for Repositories of Manuscript Sources
EARLY YEARS, 1742-1748
POST CAPTAIN, 1749-1759
FLAG OFFICER, 1759-1763
Appendix: List of Documents and Sources
Index

Ebook (EPDF)

9781000340846

January 2005

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$90.00 / £24.99

Title Details

540 Pages

2.24 x 1.48 cm

Series: Navy Records Society Publications

Series Vol. Number: 148

Imprint: The Navy Records Society