Life of a Sailor has been considered a piece of fiction when in fact it was a highly detailed account of one man’s naval career. There are many personal accounts by soldiers and sailors of service during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. If this had been just one more, it would have been a very welcome additional view of history from someone who lived through the times, but it is especially welcome because it covers a remarkably neglected period of British Naval history. The Royal Navy seems almost to have ceased to exist after the Battle of Trafalgar and remained in limbo until the outbreak of World War in 1914. Perhaps this was inevitable when in 1805 the Hero Nelson died in the moment of his greatest triumph aboard his flagship HMS Victory.