7 JUNE 1913, Page 23


ADMIRAL PENROSE-FITZGERALD WaS asked to write auto biographical recollections, and says in the preface of his delightful Memories of the Sea that he "succumbed to the

temptation—and to many others perhaps less innocent." A.

story like his of life and service at sea, which bears no taint of divagation about life on shore, requires no apology. He carries us back to the years of the Crimean war, when engines and funnels were being put into all our battleships, and his narrative brings us down to the late 'seventies, when he saw hard service with our transformed Channel Squadron. There

is no abatement in the romance of the sea because of the, engines and funnels. Admiral Penrose-Fitzgerald spent the years from 1861 to 1868 in North American and West Indian stations, so he saw out the American Civil War. From the point of view of the development of the modern battleship

these years were again of importance. Cruising and prac- tically all passages were made under sail, and the Admiral quotes an official circular which illustrates the extra- ordinary reluctance of Naval authorities to make full use of the discovery of steam. The captain or admiral who could not show good excuse for burning coal was sure to bring down on his head formidable reproof. The Admiralty coal bill, while steam was yet something of a novelty, was an item which terrified the Government and the taxpayer. This penny wise and pound foolish policy was, the Admiral. relates, " directly responsible for the loss of a considerable number of H.M. ships "; the ' Conqueror,' for example, a 10I-ton two-decker, drifted on the rocks because her captain., with the Admiralty's instructions in mind to save every possible , ton of coal, failed to get up steam in time.

Meanwhile the disappearance of sails and masts—go cleax.

• Memories of the Sea. By Admiral C. C. TenrotseFitsgorald. Leaden s Edward Arnold. [1211. 6d. net]

to Captain Marryat—from our battleships does not affect our interest in " Sea Memories " like those of Admiral Penrose- Fitzgerald, which connect our island story with all seas, and give us pictures of old and new discipline and character. The illustrations of the volume are reproduced water-colour drawings from the Admiral's own brush ; they combine a conventional Style with the charm of authenticity and direct- ness. Unfortunately they depict no modern battleship. The sulky and formidable reserve of a grey ironclad has, in our opinion, a dignity and impressiveness of its own, and few imaginative people would endorse the late Lord Salisbury's observation that a modern battleship had no more beauty than a whale with a harpoon sticking in it.