Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain

Non-Fiction, History & Politics, British History, 19th Century Britain
Paperback Published on: 06/06/2013
In stock
Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days
Make and edit your lists in your account
Check click & collect stock near you
Collect today: Pay in shop

Bookseller Reviews

View all
Edward Pellow was a legend. A brave, compassionate and brilliant naval commander, who gained public for his feats of daring-do during the late 18th cetury.... READ MORE
Phil Shipway at Salisbury
For someone who was so successful in his time, pellew is probably unknown to most people nowadays. I'd certanly never heard of him, so I found this book fa... READ MORE
Richard Keay


Edward Pellew, captain of the legendary Indefatigable, was quite simply the greatest frigate captain in the age of sail. An incomparable seaman, ferociously combative yet chivalrous, a master of the quarterdeck and an athlete of the tops, he was as quick to welcome a gallant foe into his cabin as to dive to the rescue of a man overboard. He is the likely model for the heroic but all-too-human Jack Aubrey in Patrick O'Brian's novels.

Pellew was orphaned at eight, but fought his way from the very bottom of the Navy to fleet command and a viscountcy. Victories and eye-catching feats won him a public following. Yet as an outsider with a gift for antagonizing his better-born peers, he made powerful enemies. Redemption came with his last command, when he set off to do battle with the Barbary States and free thousands of European slaves. Contemporary opinion held this to be an impossible mission, and Pellew himself, in leading from the front in the style of his direct contemporary Nelson, did not expect to survive.

Pellew's humanity as much as his gallantry, fondness for subordinates and blind love for his family, and the warmth and intimacy of his letters, make him a hugely engaging and sympathetic figure. In Stephen Taylor's magnificent new life he at last has the biography he deserves.

  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • ISBN: 9780571277124
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Weight: 295g
  • Dimensions: 200 x 125 x 23 mm

Customer Reviews

View all
Master of the Indefatigable.
I first came across Pellew as kidnapper of the musician Joseph Emidy. Originally enslaved by the Portuguese but trained as a violinist by his owner, Pellew... READ MORE
Richard Watson