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First Rate: The Greatest Warships in the Age of Sail

First Rate: The Greatest Warships in the Age of Sail [Kindle Edition]

Rif Winfield
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £45.00
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Product Description


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)

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 148066 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Seaforth Publishing (17 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LWF60RE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #855,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Sailing Ships 21 Jan 2011
I received First Rate The Greatest Warships in The Age of Sail by Rif Winfield yesterday the 21st of january 2011.
I could not stop reading:it is a great book(also in size)with a wealth of information,including lots of drawings
some contemporary including a large unfoldable drawing ot the Victoria (with also steam propulsion)
All in all a very recommendable book.
I am a modelbuilder(dutch)but I have always admired the British craftmanship on building ships.
Anyway I have learned something more trough this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb- but not quite complete. 11 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully produced book, and full use is made of its considerable physical dimensions to reproduce many magnificent illustrations, mostly in full colour. Even more illustrations could have been provided: in my own collection there are many additional photographs of models that relate to First Rates, and the Van De Veldes, Elder and Younger, drew or painted most of those from the Restoration period, although it is likely that not all of these fine works of art were available to the publishers. The technical data provided is rather meagre and significant details such as changes in the armament warrants may have been easier to comprehend if presented in tabular form. We were also promised comparisons with foreign contemporaries, but brief details of three captured ships is all that is provided.

My real criticism, though, concerns the decision to omit all the ships that were not of the very largest size, even though they may, in practice, have been given First Rate status during their careers. The Cromwellian Dunbar (later Henry) and London, also the Restoration period Royal Kathlene, Royal Oak and Loyal London, and the St Michael, all had histories that were intertwined with those of the slightly larger ships of their time. Although rates were first mentioned during the reign of Charles 1st, there was not a true differentiation in role between First and Second Rates until the 30 Ships program of 1677. At a later period, during the ealy 1800's, the Impregnable, Ocean, Trafalgar, Royal Adelade and Princess Caroline were certainly considered First Rates: the 'standard' warrant for these ships was 104 guns and they were mostly rather larger than their immediate predecessors, but nonetheless all are excluded from the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first rate: the greatest warship of the age of sail 2 Nov 2010
By dino448 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very comprehensive look at the first rate ships-of -the-line. I found many items that I hav'nt seen in other, comparable books. All togeather an excellent source, if your interest is in the first rate ships of that period.
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