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BOOK REVIEWS8 1 Ironclads and Paddlers. By Ian Marshall. (Charlottesville, Va.: Howell Press, Inc., 1993. Pp. 108. $3495) In some ways, the title of Ian Marshall's latest work is misleading. Although Ironclads and Paddlers does in fact discuss those particular ship types, it goes far beyond and offers what amounts to an introductory survey of nineteenthcentury naval development. The author, an accomplished artist in his own right, brings the subject to life in almost forty original paintings depicting representative vessels ofthe era in natural settings. The paintings lend a certain grace to these proud ships often missing from the period photographs and drawings included in similar works. The majority of the book examines the evolution of warship construction over the course ofthe century. Great Britain's Royal Navy receives the most attention , althoughAmerican, French, Italian, and German designs merit mention when necessary. Marshall also includes biographical sketches of Lord Thomas Cochrane and Lord John "Jackie" Fisher as representative agents ofthe changes taking place from the Napoleonic wars to the introduction ofthe dreadnoughts. Finally, he briefly discusses the importance of overseas bases to the steam navies of the nineteenth century, using Bermuda and Malta as examples. Marshall describes his work as "the celebration of an era," noting that "it makes no claim to break new ground" (io). Still, Ironclads and Paddlers is more than just another picture book for the living-room coffee table. Never intended as a definitive work, it nonetheless offers an engaging and informative overview of the period. The author draws on an extensive, but not exhaustive, range of scholarly works for his text. Even though he might have included such classics as Frank M. Bennett's The Steam Navy of the United States or James Phinney Baxter's The Introduction ofthe Ironclad Warship, those interested in further reading will find the appended bibliography a useful point of departure. Kurt Hackemer Texas A&M University The Civil War World ofHerman Melville. By Stanton Garner. (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993. Pp. 544. $29.95.) By the time Herman Melville brought out Battle Pieces andAspects ofthe War in August 1 866, his contemporary literary reputation had been declining for over fifteen years. From 1 846 to 1 857, he had written only narrative prose and occasional lyrics composed specifically for his fiction but no other poetry before Battle Pieces, a poetic record of the Civil War that also constituted Melville's futile plea to restore national unity without rancor or vengeance. Most of the poems were written long enough after the incidents on which they were based to have benefited from the poet's pondering over the circumstances and events that inspired them. In The Civil War World ofHerman 82CIVIL WAR HISTORY Melville Stanton Garner, a retired naval officer and English professor (including ayear as visiting professoratAnnapolis)—and president-elect ofthe Melville Society for 1995—traces the composition of the poems in Battle Pieces from their historical sources through Melville's ambivalent response to aspects of the conflict so as "to suggest what he intended them to accomplish" (443). Although Garner's naval experience gives a special authenticity to his descriptions of ships and maritime battles, all of his depictions are rendered in sharp, convincing detail. Twenty-five vintage photographs complement the text, which would also have been well served by a few maps to facilitate the location ofsites and routes. Melville participated directly in neither the government nor the military during the war, but while visiting a cavalry encampment near Washington in April 1 864, he did accompany a large scouting party for a few days when reports of Mosby's Rangers in the vicinity called for an expedition to find and harass them (310). Garner describes this adventure and Melville's poetic adaptation of it in "The Scout toward Aldie." To explore Melville's frame of mind through the war years, the author situates him amidst a network of family and acquaintances, many of whom held governmental or military positions. After observing that politics were a binding force among American families at the time (2), he identifies many ofMelville's relatives and associates to suggest the intricate social and political affiliations that, in myriad different ways, are likely...


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