Empire of the Seas

B1590

 

Written to accompany a BBC TV series, this is a case of the book being significantly better than the TV series which makes a change when many accompanying books are hastily put together to meet TV deadlines often by authors who know little of the subject. The author has established a very strong reputation for his knowledge and the quality of his books covering the Age of Sail.

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James May’s Toy Stories

B1588

 

The author is a TV presenter perhaps best known for his work on ‘Top Gear’ a motoring series. As with any presenter seeking pastures new or additional he has been branching out and presenting some programmes featuring outlandish stunts on BBC TV. It is the sort of quirky programming that builds a loyal audience and becomes something of a cult. Those viewers will want to buy this book and it should attract an additional readership

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Struggle for the Middle Sea

B1586

 

The author makes some strong claims for the importance of the Mediterranean during WWII and the book is presented as steamrolling the chauvinism and common knowledge of previous histories of this part of the world conflict. The text is supported by b&w plates, maps charts and sketches. It is a workmanlike history that presents facts and makes assertions.

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In Which We Serve – paperback

B1585

 

This well-illustrated book is an account of naval officer training in the Royal Navy during the 1939-1945 war. The Royal Navy carried a heavy burden and needed to expand rapidly, taking in many would-be officers who had little maritime experience. The system was improvised but it worked extremely well.

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Scrimgeours’s Small Scribbling Diary 1914-1916 – paperback

B1584

 

This diary was cut short by the Battle of Jutland when its 19 year old author lost his life in HMS Invincible. The book covers the period 1910-1916. It is really a collection of documents compiled by the original author’s descendant Richard Hallan with screenwriter Mark Beynon. Books of this type provide an indispensable source of information about a period in history at a time when those who were there are now dead.

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Submarine – 1939-1945 paperback

B1583

 

First published in 2007, this softback edition will bring an absorbing anthology of first-hand accounts of submarine warfare in WWII to a new readership at a very affordable price. The book includes accounts of actions by German British French and US submarines around the world. The accounts illustrate the nature of submarine warfare, the conditions aboard, the equipment and the tactics used and the course of the war.

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The Sailor’s Word Book

B1582

 

The author completed this book in 1865. It was a major undertaking during his final years to produce a digest of the knowledge gained in a lifetime of naval service.. In 1858 at the age of 70 he embarked on the creation of the Sailor’s Word Book and completed the work in 1865, dying in that year before the book was published. This book is highly recommended for all who wish to understand the naval world before 1865.

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The Man Who Supercharged Bond – The extraordinary story of Charles Amherst Villiers

B1581

 

When Fleming wrote the James Bond books he included details that contributed to the dashing and larger than life hero. This led him to give Bond a supercharged racing Bentley that Fleming himself had a great fondness for and later to replace it with an Aston Martin. Kenny has written an interesting biography of Villiers and captured the versatility of the subject. In all an extraordinary life that had previously escaped record. Fortunately Paul Kenny has corrected the omission with an enjoyable book that captures the extraordinary life of Villiers and the character traits that denied him true greatness.

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