The Blackwall frigates form a connecting link between the lordly East Indiaman of the Honourable John Company and the magnificent P and O liners of the present day. They were first-class ships. Well-run, happy ships, and the sailor who started his sea life as a midshipman aboard a Blackwaller looked back ever afterwards to his cadet days as the happiest period of his career. If discipline was strict, it was also just. The training was superb, as witness the number of Blackwall midshipmen who reached the head of their profession and distinguished themselves later in other walks of life. Fifty years ago, the lithographs of the celebrated Blackwall liners to India and Australia could be bought at any seaport for a few shillings. Nowadays, those old ship portraits are cagerly snapped up by a growing group of collectors. We therefore hope that the illustrations in this book will be appreciated.