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The Sea is My Element

The eventful life of Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm 1768-1838

Series : From Reason to Revolution 1721-1815

Author : Paul Martinovich

The Sea is My Element : The eventful life of Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm 1768-1838


General - Pages : 384 | Images : 20 colour ills, 24 b/w ills, 6 maps, 1 chart

Hardback - Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781913336578 | Helion Book Code : HEL1283

The life of Pulteney Malcolm, a Royal Navy officer active during and after the Napoleonic Wars, is now all but forgotten, except perhaps for his role in guarding Napoleon on St Helena. However in his time he was famous, celebrated for his daring and seamanship. For six years Malcolm commanded the ship of the line Donegal,fighting in the Battle of San Domingo and blockading French warships in their ports. He was involved in the aftermath of Trafalgar and the events surrounding Waterloo, and came to know many of the great men of his time, including Nelson, Wellington and Napoleon. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he spent his entireactive career afloat, justifying his proud claim that the sea was his element. His achievements in over 40 years of war and peace were all the greater, given his modest origins in the Scottish Borders.

This biography is based in large part on Malcolm’s personal letters to members of his family, particularly to his wife Clementina. The several hundred letters reveal a man who was at once a humane commander, a brilliant seaman, a convivial friend, and a loving husband. While the book offers a portrait of a man devoted to his service, the letters range over far more than naval activity, illuminating an eventful life in a turbulent age.Thus Malcolm’s story demonstratesnot only the growing professionalism of the Royal Navy, but also the social and economic pressures changing British society.

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