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The Floating Prison

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The Floating Prison

An Account of Nine Years on a Prison Hulk During the Napoleonic Wars



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The Floating Prison by L. Garneray
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In 1806, after 10 years at sea, Lieutentant Garneray was anxious to return to France when his ship was captured by the Royal Navy. He was confined, with hundreds of others, in the cramped quarters of one of the prison hulks off Portsmouth, where he remained for 9 years. Later, in the book Mes Pontons, he would recount his experience in what is considered to be the longest and most detailed account of life on a prison hulk. By turns violent and poignant, dark and humorous, the book is a compelling page-turner that sheds light on a hitherto largely neglected area of British naval history. Although it has been criticised since its original publication in 1851 of taking dramatic licence, many of the events told would almost certainly have occurred, and Richard Rose has drawn on his extensive research into French prisoners-of-war and RN administration of the period to add annotations that address the more fanciful elements of the text. Following his release. Louis Garneray became a distinguished maritime artist in his own country, and some of his paintings together with the etchings he drew for the original edition are included here.
Release date NZ
August 30th, 2003
Translated by Richard Rose
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
16pp colour and 30 b/w line illustrations
Conway Maritime Press Ltd
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