This collection of stories is vital, energetic and thought-provoking. It is based firmly on research into prison hulks and depots, and as well as being entertained by the characters and their dilemmas and actions, you will be fascinated by the 18th century world of depots and parole. Though you may have heard of the hulks, there is probably more to know than you think about this slice of history.
These are the stories of the keepers – such as a militiaman, an interpreter, a seamstress, and the kept - French and American soldiers and sailors.
In the history of war the part of the individual is subsumed in the movement of hostile forces, while the plight of the prisoner-of-war – the individual removed and neutralised - is quite forgotten. In this book Tessa West reminds us that for the prisoner the struggle is not over. Drawing upon accounts from the long wars with France that occupied the years between 1793 and 1815, Tessa West’s admirable and timely work tells of the indomitability of the human spirit set against the inglorious consequences of conflict.
Richard Woodman, Distinguished marine historian and author of the Nathaniel Drinkwater novels