An almost ship-by-ship account of the British Royal Navy's role in putting down the slave trade from 1807 when Parliament, led by reformer Wilberforce, passed the Abolition Act until the closure of the Cuban slave market in 1869. Although the major European countries, Brazil and the U.S. all legislated against the slave trade and the Congress of Vienna condemned it in 1815, only England backed its convictions with muscle by dispatching naval anti-slavery squadrons to the African coast and into the Atlantic. Less a continued narrative than a lacing together of ships' logs, letters, legal documents and government rulings, Ward's account shows the Royal Navy up against all the ingenuity of slavers and industrial profiteers. The arch-villain here is predictably the U.S.....An excellent reference but for the general reader, dull, episodic and a trifle smug. Table of dates.