From participating in the Battle of Trafalgar as an 11 year old trainee Midshipman to his untimely death as Commander of the very first steamship used in naval warfare, Frank Abney Hastings' life is portrayed vividly throughout this book. Born into a privileged aristocratic family Frank Abney Hastings had a potentially brilliant career mapped out in the British Royal Navy, but partly due to his own sense of honour and political atmosphere at this time, it was cut short. His passionate interest in artillery and early 19th Century naval warfare, combined with his desire to participate in the Greek fight for independence from Ottoman rule, lead him to become one of the most revered Phillhellenes in Greece today. Set against the historical background of early 19th Century history the influence of the Turkish regime and of other Phillhellenes including Byron, Hastings contributed to the Greek cause by designing, building and commanding the first steamship ever used in naval war.
The Karteria was not perfect but had many revolutionary aspects to her design. She became a great threat to the Turkish fleets and successfully sank and captured many ships. She and the legendary Hellas became the first ships of the new Hellenic Navy.
Hastings' fatal wounding off Mesalonghi at the age of 34 was a sad blow for the Greek cause, but the Karteria remained to continue his fight.
In Greece Frank Abney Hastings is remembered as a hero. If he had lived he may have become England's next Nelson.
The book describes his life, his tribulations and his successes not only in the author's words but also through Hastings' own correspondence and writings. Also visit www.captainfrank.co.uk