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LIARDET, Francis.

Professional Recollections of Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.

Portsea: William Woodward, 1849 Stock Code: 139373
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Inscribed to Queen Victoria

First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author to Queen Victoria on the front free endpaper: "Presented to Her Most Gracious Majesty by one of Her most devoted servants the Author. Dec. 17th - 1851".

Francis Liardet (1798-1860) entered the navy in 1809 as a second class volunteer on the Mercury. By the age of 14 he had seen service in the Mediterranean, the coast of Africa, and the waters of North America, where he was wounded while escaping from an American squadron whilst serving in the War of 1812, and later severely wounded whilst aboard the Union in the West Indies. Liardet was appointed to command of the schooner Lion, in which he "destroyed several nests of pirates on the coast of Cuba, captured nine pirate vessels, some of their prizes, and a slaver" (ODNB). He achieved much success in the Navy, was three times officially commended for diving overboard into shark-infested waters to save his men, and in November 1841 was promoted to post captain. However while acting as agent for the New Zealand Company at Terenaki in 1841 he was blinded by the accidental discharge of a small field piece, ending his active service, and he returned to England where he remained until his death at the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich.

"During his enforced retirement and afterwards Liardet wrote or dictated three books on points of professional guidance for naval officers", one of which was this authoritative manual for naval personnel. Arranged alphabetically, the work provides practical advice to servicemen on maneuvering and maintaining a vessel, with a final section devoted to discipline and etiquette, with appropriate punishments for digressions.

An insightful naval manual in a fine presentation binding with a remarkable royal provenance.

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Octavo (223 x 144 mm). Contemporary purple morocco presentation binding, titles to spine in gilt, three low-raised bands decorated in gilt, anchor motif in roundels to four compartments, blind corner rosettes enclosing triple-lined border to boards, Royal arms and motto to both boards in gilt, turn-ins gilt, all edges gilt, yellow endpapers.


Binding skilfully refurbished and consolidated, extremities of spine and corners consolidated, though still a little rubbed with a few instances of wear, offsetting from removal of previous bookplate to front pastedown; a very good copy, clean and fresh.


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