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Mutiny on the Spanish Main

HMS Hermione and the Royal Navy's revenge

Angus Konstam



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05 January 2021
History; Maritime history; Military history; Military & naval ships; Mutiny
'A vivid account of a forgotten chapter of British naval history.' Dan Snow, Historian, TV Presenter and Broadcaster The true story of one of the most notorious mutinies in naval history, which provided inspiration for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin and C.S. Forester's Hornblower novels. In 1797 the 32-gun Royal Navy frigate HMS Hermione was serving in the Caribbean, at the forefront of Britain's bitter sea war against Spain and Revolutionary France. Its commander, the sadistic and mercurial Captain Hugh Pigot ruled through terror, flogging his men mercilessly and pushing them beyond the limits of human endurance. On the night of 21 September 1797, past breaking point and drunk on stolen rum, the crew rebelled, slaughtering Pigot and nine of his officers in the bloodiest mutiny in the history of the Royal Navy. Handing the ship over to the Spanish, the crew fled, sparking a manhunt that would last a decade. Seeking to wipe clean this stain on its name, the Royal Navy pursued the traitorous mutineers relentlessly, hunting them across the globe, and, in 1801, seized the chance to recover its lost ship in one of the most daring raids of the Age of Fighting Sail. Anchored in a heavily fortified Venezuelan harbour, the Hermione - now known as the Santa Cecilia - was retaken in a bold night-time action, stolen out from under the Spanish guns. Back in British hands, the Hermione was renamed once more - its new identity a stark warning to would-be mutineers: Retribution. Drawing on letters, reports, ships' logs, and memoirs of the period, as well as previously unpublished Spanish sources, Angus Konstam intertwines extensive research with a fast-paced but balanced account to create a fascinating retelling of one of the most notorious events in the history of the Royal Navy, and its extraordinary, wide-ranging aftermath.
By:   Angus Konstam
Imprint:   Osprey
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   568g
ISBN:   9781472833792
ISBN 10:   1472833791
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   05 January 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming
List of Illustrations Maps Preface Chapter 1: The Hermione Chapter 2: Crisis in the Caribbean Chapter 3: The Seeds of Mutiny Chapter 4: The Fortunate Son Chapter 5: The Caribbean Honeymoon Chapter 6: The Floating Powderkeg Chapter 7: Murder in the Night Chapter 8: The Evil that Men Do Chapter 9: The Spanish Main Chapter 10: The Manhunt Chapter 11: An International Incident Chapter 12: The Surprise Chapter 13: The Cutting Out Chapter 14: Retribution Notes Bibliography HMS Hermione - Ship's Specifications Index

Angus Konstam is a well-established historian, and the author of over a hundred books, more than sixty of which are published by Osprey. These include series titles on Nelson and naval warfare, as well as popular books including Hunt the Bismarck and The Pirate World. His naval books by other publishers include Jutland: Twelve Hours to Win the War, The Battle of North Cape, and Sovereigns of the Sea. A former naval officer, maritime archaeologist and museum curator, he is now a full-time author, specialising in maritime and military history. He lives in Orkney, UK.

Reviews for Mutiny on the Spanish Main: HMS Hermione and the Royal Navy's revenge

A vivid account of a forgotten chapter of British naval history. * Dan Snow, Historian, TV Presenter and Broadcaster * Mutiny on the Spanish Main has everything such a history should have: a story which no novelist would dare put before his readers, an exploration of the depths to which unconfined humans can sink... [and] a graphic style which places the reader in the action - and there is action aplenty. What more could any reader want? * Peter Padfield, Author of Nelson's War * Konstam's detective work in archives across the world reveals the astonishing story of what really happened, the characters of the men involved and the convoluted mixture of geopolitics and personality which led to one of the bloodiest chapters in British naval history. * Sian Rees, Author of The Floating Brothel * Angus Konstam has delivered a masterful work. Fast moving, fascinating intrigue, incredible action, and heroic retribution by the Royal Navy. Meticulous research includes a surprising impact on US history. Patrick O'Brian would love this book. I couldn't put it down! * Admiral Jay L. Johnson U.S. Navy (ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations * Angus Konstam starts in the homely surroundings of a pub in Greenwich with two lamented and larger-than-life characters, and takes us to the Caribbean in one of the navy's worst-run ships, in a period of great unrest. He provided a moving and terrifying picture of mutiny and its aftermath in one of the Royal Navy's darkest hours, combined with a thorough understanding of the customs and techniques of the navy of the day. * Brian Lavery, Curator Emeritus, National Museum, Greenwich and author of Nelson's Navy * Angus Konstam is a master of meticulous maritime research and has brilliantly reignited this stirring tale of mutiny, savage murder, treason and subsequent Royal Navy daring and gallant retaliation and retribution. It is a cracking good read. * Admiral Sir Jock Slater, former First Sea Lord *

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