English Corsairs on the Barbary Coast
by Christopher Lloyd
Collins, 1981 [First Edition], b/w plates, hardcover, dustjacket, ISBN 000216289X
Near Fine Condition, book has minor edge and shelf wear, dustjacket is price-clipped with edge and shelf wear and minor staining (see photographs)
'The word corsair, dashing and romantic, conceals the terror it once inspired. In the Mediterranean world of the seventeenth century the corsair was the bank robber, the hit man, the kidnapper, who threatened every peaceable merchant. And among the worst and most dangerous of them were those who had taken with them the secrets of maritime supremacy and shared them with their Moslem masters.
The century of wars between France and England that opened in 1689 established a powerful naval presence in the Mediterranean with permanent bases. The corsairs were driven out of business and the Barbary states made their living by supplying the fleets with wine and victuals. But American neutrality in the great struggle with Napoleon produced a tempting crop of unprotected maritime trade. The old game began again, leading eventually to the first foreign war fought by the United States.
Christopher Lloyd is not only the best equipped naval historian now writing: he is also the most interesting and the most amusing because his curiosity extends far beyond ships and seaman to embrace every aspect of history, economic and medical, artistic and literary. As usual Professor Lloyd wears his learning lightly and few, except fellow historians, will recognise how much original research has gone into this fast-moving and highly readable book.'