The book covers the main eras of the age of sail, starting with the Caroline navy, through Commonwealth, Restoration and the French and Napoleonic wars, and culminates in the steam - powered wooden battleships of the Victorian era. Each chapter is illustrated with well chosen paintings, etchings, photographs, mainly of the Admiralty models of the period, and wherever possible Admiralty drafts of appropriate ships. The design and careers of individual ships are briefly described with particular highlights covered in more detail. There are also numerous two - page spreads on related topics. The reproduction of the illustrations is, without exception, superb; clearly a lot of effort here has gone into getting the colour reproduction as close to the original as possible. The piece de resistance is a superb four - page fold out of the draft of HMS Victoria of 1863; a full - colour reproduction, replete with detail. This is a book to be recommended to anyone with an interest in these ships, which arguably constituted mankind's greatest technological achievements during the 300 years or so that they reigned supreme. (Warship- Naval Books of the Year)
In the sailing era First Rates were the largest, most powerful and most costly ships to construct, maintain and operate. Built to the highest standards, they were lavishly decorated and given carefully considered names that reflected the pride and prestige of their country. They were the very embodiment of national power, and as such drew the attention of artists, engravers and printmakers. This means that virtually every British First Rate from the Prince Royal of 1610 to the end of sail is represented by an array of paintings, drawings, models or plans.
This book is a celebration of these magnificent ships, combining an authoritative history of their development with reproductions of many of the best (and least familiar) images of the ships, chosen for their accuracy, detail and sheer visual power in an extra-large format that does full justice to the images themselves. It also includes comparative data on similar vessels in other navies, so it is a book that everyone with an interest in wooden warships will find both enlightening and a pleasure to peruse.