This book examines John Paul Jones's most famous battle, the one in which his
Bonhomme Richard confronted the British
Serapis off the coast of England in September 1779. Thomas J. Schaeper argues that the standard interpretation of the event errs in many details concerning such things as the date, the size and relative strength of the ships, and Jones's relationship with his fellow commanders and his crew. The most important feature of this work is its translation and discussion of a heretofore neglected firsthand account of the battle. Schaeper calls into question several cherished beliefs about the abilities and the character of John Paul Jones.