Picture of author.
16+ Works 2,779 Members 46 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the names: Roy Adkins, Roy A. Adkins

Works by Roy Adkins

Associated Works

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Summer 2008 (2008) — Co-Author "Don't Give up the Ship!" — 8 copies


Common Knowledge



Husband and wife authors and historians Roy and Lesley Adkins provide readers with insight into daily life as Jane Austen (1775-1817) would have experienced it. Each chapter looks at various aspects of life, from marriage and family life to home comforts, clothing and fashion, religious life, occupations, leisure and recreation, travel, crime and punishment, medicine, and death. Excerpts from letters, diaries and journals, and other writings of the period provide plenty of examples for readers. Besides examples drawn from Austen’s writings and writings of her family members, the Adkins also incorporate examples from the diaries of Somerset vicar William Holland, the diaries of Norfolk Parson James Woodforde, and the letters and diaries of north country governess Nelly Weeton. The volume of information makes for dense reading, but it’s never dull.… (more)
cbl_tn | 7 other reviews | Mar 2, 2024 |
Last year, I read a fantasy book about dragons involved in the fighting the Battle of Trafalgar. I got to thinking that I had no idea if what was depicted in that book was accurate or not (well, except for the dragons). I only knew that Horatio Nelson had been killed. This book contains everything you wanted to know about the Battle of Trafalgar – the ships, captains and crews, the initial strategy, the order of battle, which ships fought each other, and numbers of casualties. It contains detailed maps and drawings that portray the battle at various stages. It also includes a description of the violent storm that occurred immediately afterwards – before any of the ships could find port.

It becomes obvious what a horrible time it must have been for the people on board, including cannons and muskets firing point blank, blood flowing underfoot, masts falling overhead, several ships catching fire. No triage was done. The doctors treated people in first come, first-served order, and people bled to death while waiting. With medicine in such an early stage, amputations proliferated. The author provides a vivid depiction of the carnage.

“On the gun decks of those ships in the midst of the conflict, the sailors were working in a suffocating stench of gunpowder smoke, blood, sweat, and burnt and torn skin…Despite having stripped off their shirts before the battle began, they were almost overpowered by the heat of the guns in the confined space. Many men were snow smoke-blackened and covered with dust, streaked by rivulets of sweat running down their faces and bodies. In the cramped gun decks the noise of the battle could be felt as much as heard: a maddening sensation of pressure on the skull…induced by the deafening noise.”

Adkins does a great job of setting the stage and peppering the text with first-hand accounts. I was surprised to find out there were a few women on board, mostly assisting with munitions and the wounded. It is extremely detailed and is told chronologically. I am unsure if the subtitle is fully proven, but it served the intended purpose. It will appeal to anyone interested in Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson, European history of early 1800s, the Age of Sail, or the Napoleonic Wars.
… (more)
Castlelass | 11 other reviews | Oct 30, 2022 |
Jon_Hansen | 7 other reviews | Apr 30, 2022 |
Very full account of the social history of the late 18th and early 19th century, with copious references to Austen's novels and letters (a few of which are inaccurate). Draws on a wide range of sources, some well-known (eg Woodforde's diary) but also some less known. Thematically arranged. There's a focus on the 'lower orders' but it's quite comprehensive. Well worth reading, as there is so much information you are almost bound to learn something new even if you are already knowledgeable about the era.… (more)
ponsonby | 7 other reviews | Nov 27, 2021 |


You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs