In the history of war the part of the individual is subsumed in the movement of hostile forces, while the plight of the prisoner of war – the individual removed and neutralised – is quite forgotten. In this book Tessa West reminds us that for the prisoner the struggle is not over. Drawing upon accounts from the long wars with France that occupied the years between 1793 and 1815, Tessa West’s admirable and timely work tells of the indomitability of the human spirit set against the inglorious consequences of conflict. (Richard Woodman, Distinguished marine historian and author of the Nathaniel Drinkwater novels)
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Tessa West has consulted books from England, Scotland, France, America and Norway in her search to find descriptions of prison depots and hulks and conditions within them. She has produced a collection of stories which are vital, energetic and thought-provoking. Readers, as well as being entertained by the characters and their dilemmas and actions, will be fascinated by the 18th century world of depots and hulks and parole. Though people have usually heard of the hulks, many know very little about this slice of history.