Book Review – ‘Around Cape Horn Once More: The story of the French clipper ship ‘Montebello’’ by Frank Scott

By Frank Scott, published January 2021


This book centres on the life of the French barque Montebello (2,284 grt) from launch in October 1900 until it was wrecked in November 1906.

The use of old postcards to illustrate places mentioned in the text works well, and the wreck photographs of the Montebello and Croisset are suitably poignant. However, the author, Paul Simpson, writes throughout as if he had access to the logbooks, which turns out to be highly misleading. Something aroused my suspicions, and when queried on this point the author confirmed that he had not seen any logbooks, and that for voyage details he had relied entirely on newspaper reports.

Despite this caveat, this book could have been of value, because French sailing ship biographies are very rare (particularly in English). Unfortunately the author’s limited understanding of the world of commercial sailing ships creates further problems.

Sadly this book is so flawed that it cannot be recommended …

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Filed under: Atlantic | English Channel | Other (Twentieth C) | Twentieth Century | Pacific
Subjects include: Biography | Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Miscellaneous

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