CRAWFORD, Abraham, Captain.
Reminiscences of a Naval Officer, during the Late War.
With Sketches and Anecdotes of Distinguished Commanders.
First edition. Crawford entered the navy in 1800 as a first class volunteer on board HMS Diamond “in which he assisted in the capture of many of the enemy’s ships, armed and otherwise” (O’Byrne). He transferred to the Immortalité and later Clyde, frigates, under Admiral Owen as a midshipman “and appears to have been almost daily in action from June 1802 until Aug. 1806, with detachments of the Boulogne flotilla.” With Duckworth on the Royal George at the forcing of the Dardanelles in 1807, Crawford was present at the destruction of the Turkish squadron off Point Pesquies. Promoted lieutenant in the Sultan, he was involved in frequent cutting out operations in the Gulf of Genoa, taking part in the pursuit of the French ships of the line Robuste and Lion in 1809. In 1810-11 he served under Admiral Carew in the blockade of Toulon and supporting the Catalonian insurgents on the coast, being present at the siege of Tarragona. Promoted commander in 1815 he was given command of the Grasshopper on the West India Station, where he served until invalided home in 1829, promoted Retired Captain in 1849, he died 20 years later. An uncommon and brilliantly written account of naval life in the Napoleonic Wars, entirely factual but so full of incident and detail as to suggest the work of Marryat, Forester or O’Brien. Armorial bookplate of William Frederick Webb to the front pastedown. Webb came into a large inheritance in 1847, and in 1861 purchased Newstead Abbey, Lord Byron’s old home.
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2 volumes octavo, bound in one. Publisher’s green straight-grained cloth, title gilt to the spine within an elaborate frame, similarly attractive panels in blind to the boards, pale cream surface-paper endpapers. Lithographed portrait frontispiece to each volume, Admirals Sir Edward Owen and Sir Benjamin Hallowell Carew. Somewhat rubbed, and a little soiled, front hinge repaired, first frontispiece spotted, and first title page browned, light browning otherwise, a very good copy.