William James' Naval History is one of the most valuable works in the English language on the operation of the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The original five volumes were published in 1822-24, with a six-volume edition appearing in 1826. Previously the work has only been available to scholars through specialist libraries. Now this paperback edition, reprinted from the 1837 edition, with each individual volume indexed from the 1895 index by C. G. Toogood and T. A. Brassey, provides scholars and students with an accessible and affordable edition of this important work. James corresponded widely with the survivors of the events he describes and was meticulous in his accuracy. He read and assimilated all the despatches, logs, gazettes, histories, foreign reports and private narratives available. Carefully evaluating and balancing conflicting reports and testimonies the author achieved remarkable accuracy sometimes lacking in later studies. Beginning with the initial campaigns of the French Revolutionary wars in 1792/3 James chronologically examines British all naval engagements from major fleet battles right down to cutting out operation.
Illustrated with charts, diagrams and images, the work remains an essential source for all who are interested in the operation of the Royal Navy in this period.