Robert (Bob) Thorp is a graduate of Reading University and has had a long and successful career in the international oil and gas industry. His interest in Merseyside's role in the American Civil War stems from ancestral links to Liverpool ship builders and master mariners. He is the great-great-great grandson of William Cowley Miller whose company built the C.S.S. Florida, the seized gunboat Alexandra, and a number of purpose-built blockade runners. He is also the great-great grandson of Miller's son-in-law, Captain James Alexander Duguid, who was the delivery commander of the C.S.S. Florida and captained several blockade runners, not least of which, the Lucy, was one of the most successful runners of the war. Bob has become internationally recognized as an authority on the Mersey built ships employed by the Confederacy and has been invited to present papers on the subject at the Museum of the American Civil War in Richmond, Virginia (2003) and at the prestigious McMullen Naval History Symposium at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2015). His book is the culmination of more than thirty years of research and contains many facts and insights not previously published.
"The author has created an exciting amalgam of American maritime
history and British business and commercial intrigue with a
compendium of appropriate British shipbuilding of the day. These
unlikely components are welded into a fascinating journey through
the American civil war period. Well worth reading for those of
diverse interests."Alex Urquhart
Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Naval Architecture - The Robert Gordon University, UK