Karen's Reviews > Young Nelsons: Boy sailors during the Napoleonic Wars

Young Nelsons by Douglas Ronald
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's review
Jun 04, 2010

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

I would rate this at 3 1/2 stars. The content of the book is very interesting. It's about boys who worked on British navy ships from the time of the American revolution to the time of Napolean's exile to St Helena in 1815. It's well researched and gives a fascinating glimpse into another era.

My problem is that because of the scholarly nature of the book, each individual boy's story is broken up and different parts are told in different chapters. For example, one chapter was about what it was like to first come aboard, another was about first experiences under fire, etc. This allowed the author to try to show big-picture themes but it destroyed any sense of continuity for a single boy's story. For example, there were 5 different Williams and I could never keep them straight so I couldn't get as invested as I might have otherwise. I think I would have preferred reading many of the boys' stories from beginning to end.

Overall I learned a lot and thought it drew together some great primary sources but I wish some of it was presented differently.

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message 1: by Peter (new) - added it

Peter An excellent and spot-on review. I agree 100%.

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