Maritime historian Jacques Blanken’s Contrebandiers, Smogleurs en Manche, Histoire d’un Commerce Interlope (Smugglers on the Channel, the History of a Dodgy Trade), which came out in 2015, is to be awarded a medal by the French Naval Academy.

It might help the book sell more than the 2,000 copies sold so far.

Blanken’s research tells him that at certain periods, the “dodgy trade” was more significant for the English Channel region’s economy than legitimate commerce — not least in periods when formal hostilities by day masked a brisk nightly business in the coves and inlets of the coasts of Cornwall and Brittany.