1st.ed., 2007. Xx + 380 pp., 14 plates & 23 text ills. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Mauritius was a French outpost and threatened Britain's trade links with India and China. In 1809, in the area of the island, the East India Company lost fifteen ships with their valuable cargoes of saltpetre for the Peninsula campaign as well as many lives. Seven ships simply disappeared without trace ; two went aground and were lost ; and six were taken by French frigates. Little could be done about the hurricanes but something could be done with regard to the Ile de France and Britain decided to act. The story that unfolds in this book brings to life the major players in the event : Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew and two of his sons ; Sir George Barlow, the unpopular governor at Madras ; Captain Nesbit Willoughby, RN., an aristocratic firebrand ; Captain Robert Corbet, RN., who had served under Nelson but was known for his cruelty ; Captain Matthew Flinders, RN, held captive by the French since 1803 ' and other notable figures both naval and civilian. FINE copy.