- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Quercus; 1st Ed. (U.K.) edition (25 Oct. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847241719
- ISBN-13: 978-1847241719
- Product Dimensions: 35 x 2.6 x 43 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Fighting Ships 1750-1850 Hardcover – 25 Oct 2007
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About the Author
Dr Sam Willis is one of the world's leading authorities on the sailing navy and was awarded a PhD in Naval History for his thesis on Command and Tactics in the 18th-century Navy. He is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter's Centre for Maritime Historical Studies and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Sam was presenter of the BBC series Shipwrecks and has consulted on maritime painting for Christie's and the BBC, spending 18 months as a Square Rig Able Seaman, sailing the tall ships used in the Hornblower television series and Channel 4's award-winning film Shackleton. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including the bestselling 'Hearts of Oak' Trilogy. www.sam-willis.com.
N. A. M. Rodger is Professor of Naval History at the University of Exeter. He is the author of numerous books including The Wooden World, The Admiralty, The Safeguard of the Sea and Command of the Ocean.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book illustrates a wide variety of naval activities--from the loss of the Royal George to shipwrecks to recovery efforts. The title is a bit of a misnomer--not everything here involves fighting ships. There is, for example, a painting of the Terror (a former bomb vessel) trapped in the ice of Hudson's bay in 1837. A delightful book indeed!
It's an extremely large book, which contains an interesting set of essays by naval historian Sam Willis about the last century of the "wooden walls" and a collection of delightful large size illustrations, mostly contemporary, which range from maps and plans to portraits of ships, battles, and some of the dramatis personae of the battles of the era.
It's easy for us to think of the ship of the line as a beautiful relic of a bygone era, but, like the dreadnaught battleships of a century later, these ships were both a remarkable feat of engineering and far and away the most powerful weapon of war which had ever existed up to that point in recorded history. To build, maintain and operate fleets of these vessels required both science and skill, and very considerable resources by the standards of the time - and indeed, appointment and promotion systems to find their captains and officers which were vastly more meritocratic than the societies of the time allowed in almost any other sphere.
(More meritocratic, indeed than the navies of the period are often given credit for in popular fiction, but that's another story.)
Most of the illustrations are contemporary documents, or paintings by artists of the period such as Pocock and Stanfield, (for example it includes Turner's "Fighting Temeraire") although there are also some excellent illustrations by more modern artists such as Geoff Hunt.
The text is much more nuanced than some accounts of the period.Read more ›
The format is alternating pages of text and pictures. The text supporting the following picture. The text is informative and splendidly readable but forget about that, thats not really important.
This book weighs a freaking shedload. Its massive. Its awesomely gigantically massive. About 16" tall and its cover is made out of depleted uranium or something. It nearly breaks my coffee table.
The Pictures are mostly contempory to the period and sketches or paintings.Each one is pourable over for hours, turn the page and theres another one. Only better.
If you love fighting sale, then grab this book for a bargin price. There simply is no reason for you not to own it. Each minuite you lack it,will dull your life.
It is a huge heavy book. 2 foot by 1 foot. In the book description we thought it was an ordinary book.
The book is presented hardbound in plain black, with just gold lettering on the spine. The dust jacket shows the paintings "The Victory" and "Cutting Out The Chevrette". Inside, the whole thing is printed on thick, high quality medium gloss paper, in full colour throughout. The huge page space is used to great effect, as the paintings are practically posters. The text is in quite large fonts, and provides brief commentaries about the pictures and their historical context. The book is arranged in chronological order, so the pictures and the text flow nicely through the years.
Thankfully, it gives several pages to Nelson. The painting on p131-132, of the Battle of Trafalgar, is particularly good. The authors, Willis and Rodger, are both professors of naval history. Their enthusiasm for their subject is on every page, in their choice of pictures and their colourful and informative writing.
The chapters begin with all-black pages containing introductory text. Be sure not to touch these pages with your fingers, as you will end up with highly visible finger marks all over them. The problem is that the book is printed on matt paper, which marks easily. It would have been better to leave a white page margin or, for a full-bleed print (which this book uses), use glossy paper. Glossy paper is expensive, so the trade-off has made the book more affordable.
The writing is concise and informative, but the punctuation leaves something to be desired.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THIS IS SIMPLY WONDERFUL! I did not expect it to some large a book. BUT amazing and good!Published 17 months ago by Fang
This was a 70th birthday present for my brother. He was hugely impressed with the detail and pictures. A great addition to his collection.Published 22 months ago by Bill
Beautiful coffee table book...a pleasure to own and browse. Wonderful art work on good quality paper. A follow on book would be a bonus.Published 22 months ago by RED
Amazing, large and detailed pictures, informative text with them, a brilliant book to buy, but watch out, it is pretty largePublished on 2 Aug. 2013 by chris cruse
This is a superbly illustrated very large book, written by a knowledgeable author on maritime history. Read morePublished on 6 April 2013 by Brian Smith
This is just an amazing book. by far the largest and most impressive one in my collection.
bought it by Books Any and people there are real stars. Read more
A superb breckthrough of the Nelson times represented, in large format, by magnificent paintings of the dramatic battles at sea associated with the main actors portraits and the... Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2013 by bruno
I bought this as a present for a former Lieut in the RNVR. However I can't part with it. At 17" x 14" and with great quality images, it's a stunner.Published on 23 Feb. 2013 by dynevorman
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