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First naval novel.- [Davis (John)] The Post-Captain; or, The Wooden Walls well manned; comprehending a view of naval society and manners, first edition, wood-engraved vignette of a schooner to title, aquatint frontispiece (not called for), the odd instance of pencil marginalia, some staining and spotting, lightly browned, 20th century navy blue half calf, gilt spine in compartments with anchor motifs and a white leather label, little rubbed, [Sadleir 678], 8vo, Thomas Tegg, 1806.

⁂ A rare copy of what may be considered the first English language naval novel. Chapter XX (beginning p.112) is 'The Story of Mr. Keith's Captivity among the American Indians'. Davis's practical knowledge had been gleaned from his time at sea, first on an East Indiaman, and then Sir Edmund Nagle's frigate Artois in 1794. He rose to the rank of acting lieutenant, leaving the Navy when the Artois was wrecked in 1797. Post-Captain was published immediately after Trafalgar.


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