Books: When the Walls Shook

THE GREAT MUTINY by James Dugan. 511 pages. Putnam. $6.95.

Britain's war against France was in its fourth year—and France controlled most of Europe. At Brest, the French were assembling a formidable invasion force. In London, King George III, the Admiralty and No. 10 Downing Street did not worry much. What power could possibly breach "the nation's legendary wooden walls," the scourge of the oceans, the British fleet? Then, in the spring of 1797, the wooden walls began to come apart.

James Dugan's fine, wry, if somewhat overlong story re-creates the greatest mass mutiny...

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