The Wreck of the Isabella
Naval actions during the Napoleonic Wars continue to excite a wide readership in many countries, but virtually all those books relate the deeds of admirals and captains, and tell the stories of fleets rather than individual ships. This story is different because, not only is it absolutely true, but it concerns a group of ordinary men, women and children who found themselves involved in an episode which was quite out of the ordinary. It began when one ship was wrecked on the remote and (at that time) totally deserted Falkland Islands due to the incompetence of its drunken master. Then two ships came to the rescue of the castaways, one British and one American, a situation which was complicated by the outbreak of the War of 1812 between the two countries. The adventures that befell the people of those three ships contains a greater mix of high courage and base cowardice, honesty and skulduggery, good luck and misfortune, and surprising twists than any novelist would dare to include in one book.
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