Anson, Captain W. V.


1st ed., 1913. Xv + 368 pp., frontis., + 9 other plates & 4 maps & plans. Later (20th century) blue cloth ; silver lettering & lines. 23 x 16cm. V.G. A pre-First World War biography of John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent, (1735-1823) describing his early life, his service as a naval captain (1769-1774), and his subsequent naval career in the French Wars during which he gained his greatest victory over the Spanish off Cape St. Vincent in 1797 ' a battle which first brought Nelson to public attention. There are several chapters on Jervis's Mediterranean command ; the abandonment of that sea, the blockade of Cadiz, etc. The author also covers Jervis's command of the Channel Fleet prior to his appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty when he introduced much-needed naval reforms. His troubled political life and his struggle against corruption are described in detail. The book ends with St. Vincent's long years of retirement between 1807 and 1823 when he was dubbed "My Old Oak" by George IV. Jervis was already a successful naval officer when war broke out with France in 1793. He was quick to recognise the outstanding ability of Nelson, and against much opposition gave him the opportunity to prove himself. The Battle of the Nile was the result. St. Vincent was a tough no-nonsense commander who brought his fleet up to an exceedingly high professional standard rarely matched.

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