In Fortunes's Favorite Christopher Valin puts forward a balanced and convincing case for greater recognition to be attributed to Sir Charles Douglas, both for his action at the Battle of the Saints, and as the instigator of many refinements to naval gunnery; improvements that certainly gave the British an edge in future conflicts.
Douglas come across as an interesting character; certainly as complex as any found in fiction. He spoke six languages, was married three times, lost the use of his left arm relatively early in his career, spent a good deal of time serving in the Dutch Navy, and was partially responsible for reorganising the Russian Navy for Catherine the Great. He also influenced the lives of several notable naval officers who grew to prominence on his interest.
An extensive bibliography, seven appendices, and numerous foot notes make this a useful addition to any library.
Fortune's Favorite is well researched and written with style. It sheds new light on an old controversy, and gives a previously little known figure of the period deserved acknowledgement. Recommended.
Author: Christopher J. Valin