Includes 15 portraits and 11 maps
“IT is with great pleasure that we welcome this admirable little book, and its short, clear sketches of some of the great deeds which made the Empire. There have been plenty of attempts to write the story of England’s battles on sea and land in a, language which shall, while plain and easily understood, give a true picture of the events depicted ; but we have never met with one which has proved so successful. The method as well as the tone and temper of the little book before us— it is in size hardly more than a pamphlet—is entirely satisfactory. The writing of “Vedette,” without being pompous or exaggerated, is full of life and colour, and dull must he be who can read its pages without a thrill of pride and pleasure. Only about twenty pages are devoted to each of the twelve episodes chosen from the history of the last hundred and fifty years, and therefore there is little room for minute detail or fine shading. With true literary and historic discretion, however, “Vedette” has seized the important points in each incident narrated, and has made them living and real. Whether it is the fight off Cape St. Vincent, or Lord Hawke’s victory, the night attack on Badajos, or the storming of the Heights of Abraham that is being described, “Vedette” contrives to give us the essentials of the story. Again, he makes the nature of each incident clearly visible, and by a few swift and bold touches, Wolfe or Jervis, Sir Sidney Smith or Sir Philip Broke, stand out before us as they lived an I fought. But this happy result is achieved by no elaborate artifices of style, but by the simplest of devices. “Vedette” has clearly got the historical literature of each event at his fingers.”- The Spectator.