THE GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE 1794. A NAVAL BATTLE AND ITS AFTERMATH.

Duffy, Michael. & Morriss, Roger. (Eds.).


£25.00




University of Exeter Press, 1st.ed., 2001. (Vi) + 179 pp., 21 ills. Pict. c.c., 22 x 15cm. FINE. Howe's victory off Brest in June 1794 was the first great naval engagement with France in the long wars ahead (1793-1815). Both the French and the English considered it to be the hardest-fought battle of the 18th century. It was hailed as a British victory, as indeed it was, six French ships-of-the-line lay off Spithead to prove the point, and a seventh had been sunk, but it was a strategic failure inasmuch as the vital American grain convoy the French fleet was escorting managed to take advantage of the confusion and slip into Brest. This is the first notable study since Oliver Warner's book of the early 1960s, and is based on the proceedings of a bicentennial conference held at Greenwich in 1994, augmented by an extended version of Dr. Duffy's paper read at the Anglo-French conference at Brest in 1998. The last two chapters are both interesting and unusual as they deal with the battle as seen through contemporary art, theatre, memorials and relics.


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