A French officer's manuscript on naval tactics

[Naval tactics]. Evolutiones navales.

No place, ca. 1770.

4to (190 x 248 mm). French manuscript, ink on paper. (2), IV, 190 (but: 189), (7) pp. (first leaf blank save for the ink borders, pp. 33-34 transposed before 27, p. 146 skipped, last text and last index page blank). With numerous ink drawings throughout, many full-page. Contemporary full calf with remains of a spine label ("Ev... Na..."). All edges red.


An encompassing, finely executed manuscript on naval tactics, composed by an officer of the French navy, where this subject had long enjoyed special emphasis. The present manual contains 91 "evolutions", or techniques of seamanship and combat manoeuvres. It is unpublished in this form, but it draws heavily on and assimilates the classic works of Tourville (1693), Hoste (1697), Morogues (1763), and Bourdé de Villehuet (1765), often providing the section's source in the margin. As the anonymous author states in the preface ("Avertissement sur le suject de ce recueil"), he has compiled in this volume, at the suggestion of many younger navy officers and sailors, the sum of knowledge he acquired during his 36 years of service. The painstakingly prepared pen-and-ink illustrations show show fleet and battle formations as well as manoeuvres on the high seas and in coastal areas. With a detailed table of contents ("Table des evolutions co[n]tenues dans ce recueil") at the end.

Spine professionally repaired. A few light stains throughout, otherwise well preserved.

Stock Code: BN#52896 Tags: ,