The Sea is my Element, the Eventful Life of Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm 1768-1838
Helion & Company (Book No. 69 in the From Reason to Revolution 1721-1815 Series)
Hardback, 367 pp including 33 B&W Illustrations, 21 Colour plates and 8 maps.
This is a beautifully produced book which uses extensive research from archival sources to tell the story of the life of Sir Pulteney Malcolm in exceptional detail.
Sir Pulteney Malcolm is one of the lesser-known brotherhood of heroes that headed the Royal Navy during its zenith in the early nineteenth century, his varied and fascinating career unfortunately getting lost perhaps in the forest of other greats, such as Nelson, Cochrane, Hoste, Collingwood and many, many more. It is therefore high time that the story of Pulteney Malcolm’s career has finely been brought fully to the fore.
Mr Martinovich must be congratulated for the mass of primary material he has brought together to give the most comprehensive history of Pulteney Malcolm that could possibly be produced. Malcolm served in almost every ocean (barring the Pacific) but unfortunately missed all of the great sea battles of the age (missing Trafalgar by a whisker).
His life, therefore, although undoubtedly eventful, was largely spent in blockade duties or patrolling in secondary theatres and hence perhaps his unfair relegation in history to an also ran.
The text is very readable and full of the minutest detail of Pulteney Malcolm’s career, its only failure for this reader was that it failed to raise him into the highest echelons of the pantheon of the greatest sailors of an age that produced so very many naval heroes.
It is however a beautifully researched and produced book and should be a ‘must’ for any serious student of the Royal Navy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Highly recommended.