I’ve recently read parts of James L. Nelson‘s Benedict Arnold’s Navy: the Ragtag Fleet that Lost the Battle of Lake Champlain, but Won the American Revolution, which focuses on the Northern Campaign, beginning with Arnold’s and Allen’s capture of Fort Ticonderoga, and goes through … well, I gave up during the attempted capture of Quebec.
The book read very nicely; it was easy to follow and kept one’s attention. I was rather disappointed, though, with the disconnect between the title and the content of the book. I expected to see more development on Arnold’s work on his make-shift navy before the Battle of Valcour Island, but instead, Nelson just traced the military career of Arnold. This read more like a biography of Arnold than it did an explanation of Arnold’s influence on America’s navy in Lake Champlain.
One pleasant surprise, though, was Nelson’ reference to Kenneth Roberts during his account of the attempted capture of Quebec. Interestingly, Nelson refers to Roberts not as a historical fiction author, but as an “[a]uthor and historian” (146). I checked out Nelson’s bibliography at the back of the book (quite extensive), and he refers only to Roberts’ March to Quebec.
Excellent to see Roberts in a recent work!