1st ed., 1990. X+ 421 pp., 54 plates, 3 maps & 10 line drawings. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. This is a modern assessment of not only the Battle of Trafalgar itself when the combined fleets of France and Spain met the British fleet on the 21st October 1805, but the entire campaign with events leading up to battle from 1803 onwards. One of the strengths of this study is that the author feels equally at home among French archives as he does among English, resulting in a well-balanced account drawing on hitherto unpublished material. The author explains the political background to the campaign and examines the vast and intricate French plans to build a viable invasion force to cross the Channel and land on British soil. Napoleon's dream ' all but given up as lost by the 21st October ' was removed beyond the bounds of possibility by Nelson's decisive victory off Cape Trafalgar. The battle itself is fully described : the climax of a long and bitter 'cat and mouse' struggle to gain control at sea. Appendices provide a useful chronology and biographical sketches and the book is illustrated with 54 plates, 3 maps and 10 line drawings. FINE copy.