For viewers of BBC One’s ‘Britain and the Sea’, ‘Leviathan’ is a must-read; overturning long-held beliefs about our ancestry and weaving together the disparate strands that made the fabric of the Empire.
The 350 years between the accession of the Tudors and the beginning of the Victorian era saw one of the great transformations of any nation in history: Britain emerged from its lowly position as European underdog to become the world's only maritime superpower. It was a period that saw the creation of Protestant kingdoms in England and Scotland, the gain and loss of American colonies and the beginnings of a new empire in Africa, India and Australasia. It is a slice of our past represented by some of the most compelling personalities to have graced the historical stage – Elizabeth I, Nelson, Cromwell and Byron amongst them.
In this wide-ranging yet succinct history, David Scott challenges some of our longest held beliefs in how Britain achieved its constitutional might. Where other histories have concentrated on a narrow chronology, 'Leviathan: A World of Ships and Men' encompasses a broad spectrum, tracing the connections made across time as never before.