A. B. McLeod has a new book just released in hardcover worldwide, British Naval Captains of the Seven Years War: The View from the Quarterdeck.We have always known who were the captains of the Seven Years War, in the sense of having lists of their names. A few of them, who later became famous, we knew personally at least a little, but until now most of them have never been more than names. The genius of this book is to bring them to life as individuals; to show their hopes and fears, their faults and virtues, and to fill in the details of their working lives. Far from the grand narrative of battles and campaigns, this book illuminates the everyday world and everyday thoughts of a generation of 18th-century naval officers. N.A.M. Rodger, All Souls College, Oxford
This book provides a detailed insight into the operations of the British Navy during the Seven Years War by examining the experiences of the cohort of men promoted to the rank of captain in 1757. Byrne McLeod outlines their early careers, discusses how they were selected for promotion and examines the opportunities for making reputations and fortunes through action first against the French and then also the Spanish. She also demonstrates the iron control wielded by the Admiralty over its captains and shows that, although connections and interest assisted greatly with promotion, allegations of corruption were misplaced. The navy in this period was highly effective: an extremely complex and efficient bureaucracy where merit was most definitely rewarded.