BILLY RUFFIAN by David Cordingly: This flash photo is intended to give a general impression of the appearance and condition of this book.


The biography of a ship of the line, 1782 - 1836


First published in Great Britain 2003 by Bloomsury Publishing Plc, London

ISBN 0 7475 6537 6

Navy cloth bound book with gilt lettering to spine. 355 pages. 160 mm. x 240 mm. x 37 mm.
Book, un-read, no inscriptions and an un-price clipped dust wrapper, both in at least NEAR FINE (as new!) condition;
Price £9.00 - plus postage - Weight wrapped <900 kilo.
Postage prices below from end of April 2012.

U.K. First Class
Airmail Europe.
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*Royal Mail Second class for this item £3.50*

JACKET FLAP BLURBS:                                                

A scanned image of The jacket front of David Cordingly's  BILLY RUFFIAN.

This is the story of the Bellerophon, a 74-gun ship of the line known to her crew as the Billy Ruffian. She began life in a small shipyard near Rochester on the River Medway, and ended it as a prison hulk downriver at Sheerness. In the intervening years, as one of the fastest ships in the British fleet, the Bellerophon played a conspicuous part in three of the most famous of all sea battles: the battle of the Glorious First of June (1794), the opening action against Revolutionary France; the battle of the Nile (1798), which halted Napoleon's eastward expansion from Cairo; and the battle of Trafalgar (1805), which established British naval supremacy for 100 years and during which her captain was shot dead with a musket ball an hour before Nelson himself was mortally wounded. But her crowning glory came six weeks after the Battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon, hoping to escape to America but trapped in Rochefort, surrendered to the captain of the ship that had dogged his steps for more than twenty years.

DAVID CORDINGLY was Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum for twelve years, where he organised such exhibitions as 'Captain James Cook, Navigator', 'The Mutiny on the Bounty' and 'Pirates: Fact and Fiction'. His other books include Life among the Pirates and Heroines and Harlots.

Lavishly illustrated with paintings, sketches, maps and battle plans, and drawing on a wealth of primary sources and contemporary literature, David Cordingly's portrait of the Billy Ruffian is an original work of popular history and a fascinating insight into the reality that lies behind C. S. Forester's and Patrick O'Brian's fictional ships and heroes.

Cover illustration:
Napoleon on board the Bellerophon, oil painting by Sir William Quiller Orchardson (1880)