An extract from The Metropolitan, Vol. 11 by James Cochrane, 1834, about the author and book which was originally published anonymously.
"I do not know whether it was at the first introduction that Mr. Neale communicated to me his name; it is, however, but of little consequence. His confidence was simply this,—for I really cared nothing about it, and did not put leading questions to extract more—that "his name was Neale, that he had been an officer of the Talbot, and, that he had quitted the service." This was all; his name, and the name of the ship in which he had served. Mr. Cochrane asserts in his letter that I assured hiin, that " Mr. Neale was of high family, of influence, and abilities." This, if true, would not tell well for Mr. Neale; but, it is not true. Nothing was mentioned but what I have stated, and I made no inquiries concerning his birth, parentage, and education. Shortly after I had been acquainted with Mr. Neale and his name, in a conversation with some naval officers, 1 heard particulars unknown to me before. Mr. Neale says, in his prefatory remarks, that Cavendish was " avowedly fictitious," and, that the "anonymous was assumed according to the invariable rule of young authors." Such was my opinion when I first read it, but in this conversation I discovered that the characters were not fictitious; on the contrary, that they were libels upon his shipmates, who were indignant, and anxious to find out the author; and it was further stated, that a person who had served as a master's assistant, of the name of Neale, on board the Talbot, and was then an attorney's clerk, was supposed to be the anonymous libeller, although the charge could not be brought home to him.
Mr. Neale had stated to me that he had been an officer of the Talbot, but not saying what rank he held, I took it for granted that he was a midshipman. The station that he therefore held in the Talbot, was obtained, not from Mr. Neale, but from other parties."
Author: William Johnson Neale
Title: Cavendish: or, The Patrician at Sea
First Published by: Henry Colburn (In 3 volumes)