[Rodger] provides the reader with the most authoritative and enjoyable text on the subject that can be imagined. --Patrick O'Brian"
From the Back Cover
Until the publication of 'The Wooden World' the British Navy in the eighteenth century was one of the great puzzles of history. The traditional picture is of a floating hell, manned by miserably paid wretches, cowed by the lash and almost permanently drunk. How then did it achieve a fighting record of brilliant success and a reputation for formidable efficiency?
'The Wooden World' brilliantly dissects eighteenth-century naval society, lays out clearly how the navy worked, and what life was really like below decks. The picture Nicholas Rodger paints not only completely overturns the traditional view, but is probably one of the most complete portraits we have of a navy of any age.
"This excellent book, both scholarly and readable, gives us a new approach to the eighteenth century British Navy, which helps to explain it's historic achievement and illuminates the society of which it was a characteristic and resounding expression throughout the world."
"A deeply satisfying book firmly based on new evidence but highly readable; it is enlivened by a multitude of startling and hilarious incidents, recounted with style and wit, and a whole gallery of amazing characters, from ratings to admirals."
JOHN KENYON, 'Observer'
"The fullest, brightest and altogether most readable picture that I know of the Royal Navy that beat the Spanish and French navies in the Seven Year War."
RICHARD HOUGH, 'Daily Telegraph'
"A splendid book, which opens many new vistas on life on the Navy in particular and…on eighteenth-century British society in general."
--This text refers to an alternate
IAN CHRISTIE, 'History Today'