Wednesday 24th February
Stephen Taylor worked as a foreign correspondent for The Times in Africa, Asia and Australia. He is the author of several celebrated books on Africa and a recent biography of Edward Pellew. Pellew, captain of the legendary Indefatigable, was quite simply the greatest British frigate captain in the age of sail. He fought his way from the very bottom of the navy to fleet command. Victories and eye-catching feats won him a public following but he had a gift for antagonizing his better-born peers, and he made powerful enemies. Redemption came with his last command, when he set off to do battle with the Barbary States and free thousands of European slaves. Pellew’s humanity, fondness for subordinates, blind love for his family and the warmth and intimacy of his letters make him a very engaging person.