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HUNTING THE ESSEX A Journal of the Voyage of HMS Phoebe 1813-1814

A Journal of the Voyage of HMS Phoebe 1813-1814  

RRP: £16.99
OUR PRICE: £2.00  

The true story behind Patrick O'Brian's novel The Far Side of the World, this nail-biting account of a 19th century Naval chase and battle comes from the journal of a Midshipman on board HMS Phoebe She had been sent to hunt down and destroy the American raider USSS Essex, which had devastated the British whaling trade in the South Pacific during the Anglo-American War of 1814. Their clash may have been a side-show, but it was also an epic.
In February 1813 the British frigate Phoebe set out on a secret mission that would involve sailing halfway around the world to attack American settlements in the Pacific Northwest. The United States, frustrated at the treatment of its shipping by the combatants in the Napoleonic Wars, had finally opened hostilities against the British in the previous June. From the American perspective the War of 1812 began with disasters in its invasion of Canada, but against all expectations the infant US Navy had scored significant victories at sea. The most strategically significant of these was the campaign by the frigate USS Essex, which had almost annihilated the lucrative British whaling trade in the south Pacific. Therefore, Phoebe was diverted to hunt down and destroy this highly successful commerce-raider. After an epic search, Phoebe tracked her prey to neutral Valparaiso where the American frigate was blockaded and,in a very bloody battle, eventually captured. The American captain, David Porter, published a self-serving account of his actions which ever since has mired the battle in controversy, so this British naval eyewitness account is an important counter-balance. It is one of the lesser-known campaigns of a war which is currently celebrating its bicentenary, but its inherent drama inspired the plot of Patrick O'Brian's novel The Far Side of the World, although in its movie adaptation Master & Commander the American frigate is transformed into a French privateer.


Product Code: 24239
Author: Midshipman Allen Gardiner
Format: HB, 152 pp Published Price 16.99
Shipping Time: This item is usually dispatched Next Day
Retail Price: £16.99
Our Price: £2.00 save 88% 


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