Item description for Will I Am by Henrik F. Christensen...
Two decades after the United States of America obtained it's independence from England, American merchant seamen are still forced out of American merchant ships in great numbers to serve involuntarily onboard the British Royal Navy's war ships. Captive American seamen are this way forced to take part in England's wars against friendly countries to the United States of America. We follow the exciting lives of three American seamen that come from the very regions in America where the USA fought and won battles to achieve its independence.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.92" Width: 6.32" Height: 1.51" Weight: 1.67 lbs.
Release Date Jan 15, 2003
Publisher RockBySea Books
ISBN 8798869213 ISBN13 9788798869214
Availability 0 units.
More About Henrik F. Christensen
Christensen received his M.Sc. Degree from the University of Aalborg, Denmark in June 1988. The work was in the field of Machine and Energy Techniques. In 1994, he obtained his Ph.D. Degree from the Technical University of Denmark. He worked as a scientist at the National Laboratory in Denmark in the field of Wind Turbine Aerodynamics. In 1996 he established his company RockBySea under which RockBySea Books is an affiliate.
Reviews - What do customers think about Will I Am?
The Will to Stay the Course Jan 21, 2004
"Then, making a salutation as to the ship herself, 'and good-bye to you too, old Rights-of-Man," Billy Budd is impressed from a merchantman to a man-of-war. In Bill Budd, Herman Melville makes reference to the skullduggery of impressments in his 1845 short story.
The impressments controversy of the early 1800s grew from the British Navy's long-standing practice of augmenting its crews with sailors forcibly taken from coastal towns and merchant ships. After the American Revolution, the British no longer sent "press gangs" onto American soil in search of crews, but they continued to stop American merchantmen at sea, insisting on their right to search for deserters from the British Navy.
In Will I Am, novelist Christensen, director of a small Danish company working in the field of Renewable Energy, presents the plight of three American seamen -- William Watson, John Brown, and Amos Stevens -- impressed into service by the British Royal Navy, and details their ripped apart lives in consequence. One of the most tragic truths is that these three were the sons of American revolutionaries, many of whom died on the battlefields for freedom. Ironic was that England lost the war in the colonies, but continued to be masters of the sea. The only justice was the shipwrecking of many of these man-o-wars, which were dangerously misguided on an arrogant course, by American slaves of the sea. Sadly, many of the perished lives were young men and women who were forced to serve against their will.
Christensen provides plenty of facts in this haunting tale of history. His breadth of reserch is noteworthy, but his fictional narrative could have been much improved. His pacing is slow and becomes barnacled by too many dry-dock facts. Only the serious student of history might have the necessary discipline to stay the course. The story, however, provides readers with insight into the courage and heroism as well as tragic stories of wasted human lives, false dreams of freedom, and a fledgling America's struggle to wrest itself from Britain's grasp.
a fine historical seafaring tale Nov 10, 2003
While WILL I AM is written in a novel form it contains verbatim log entries & letters home from American Merchant Seamen William Watson, John Brown & Amos Stevens, penned between 1805 & 1812, during their forced service & incarcerations
Henrik F. Christensen has taken on an intriguing labor of love from a forgotten time when the United States was a fresh & untried nation in a world of Old Foes -- England & France
Henrik Christensen has stitched together a remarkably detailed recreation of what life was like for this new nation's merchant seamen, where suddenly they find themselves abducted by the enemy, & transported around the Atlantic to ports & battles, until they are shipwrecked on Denmark's shores intent on re-gaining their freedom
A RebeccasReads recommendation.
A Superb Read ! Nov 9, 2003
"A superb read..Will I Am is a fine historical read of a unique episode in the United States' history."
"Henrik F. Christensen's Afterwords are impeccable, with photos of actual letters, paintings, & a long list of archived documents from which he drew his story."
Three American merchant seamen are impressed into service by the English Royal Navy after the American Revolutionary War. While Will I Am is written in a novel form it contains verbatim log entries & letters home from American Merchant Seamen William Watson, John Brown & Amos Stevens, penned between 1805 & 1812, during their forced service & incarcerations. Henrik F. Christensen has taken on an intriguing labor of love from a forgotten time when the United States was a fresh & untried nation in a world of Old Foes -- England & France -- both with long histories of the best & worst of imperial habits. From his home in Denmark, this author has stitched together a remarkable patchwork of what life was like for this new nation's merchant seamen, where suddenly they find themselves abducted by the enemy, & transported around the Atlantic to ports & battles, until they are shipwrecked on Denmark's shores intent on re-gaining their freedom. This author has re-submitted his long, unique & interesting book to both a good proofreader & linguistic editor making the second edition a superb read. There are several maps indicating locations of interest re: where the three Seamen came from, where taken; the battles fought, & the retreats made. Readers must then dive in as there is no Contents page. I relished the authentic language & idiosyncratic spelling in the letters & logs Watson, Brown & Stevens wrote, & the author's segments in the story are fascinating. Henrik F. Christensen's Afterwords are impeccable, with photos of actual letters, paintings, & a long list of archived documents from which he drew his story. For a detailed recreation of life at sea during one of the great ages in naval history, Will I Am is a fine historical read of a unique episode in the United States'history.
real history of a forgotten time Oct 22, 2002
Why would a Dane write about American Merchant Seamen from two centuries ago? Because two of those brave & articulate men, landed up on Henrik Christensen's peninsula to survive & recover there, after the ship in which they were impressed was stranded.
While WILL I AM is written in novel form, it contains, verbatim, log entries & letters home from American Merchant Seamen William Watson, John Brown & Amos Stevens, penned between 1805 & 1812, during their forced service aboard British warships, their incarcerations, together with their own family histories.
WILL I AM is an uncut diamond, the stuff for which ardent Readers of history - real history - yearn & hunt.
WILL I AM May 13, 2002
WILL I AM is an incredibly original historical piece. Not only has the author covered the lives of impressed American seamen in the Royal Navy over several years but also researched their genealogy. All details and themes have been taken from original material in the USA, UK, Denmark and the West Indies. This book describes exactly the lives of seafarers in the early 1800s and how unwittingly such men could be taken by the British and spirited away against their will for many years of sea service and battles. Written in the style of a diary this book will educate and inform. The background research of the subjects is extensive and the the amount of naval input is impressive.