Tars, softback edition

B1527

When a publisher launches a softback edition of a hardback title within a year or less of the hardback appearing, it generally means that the hardback sold very quickly and the reviewer hopes that this is the case because the author did a very good job with the hardback. The softback standard is also high. The publisher is to be commended for including crisp mono illustration throughout the text and adding two sections of colour plates when there is always a temptation to cut costs in a softback edition. The author has already written on the Napoleonic Wars, a period of naval history that has been heavily covered in fiction and in history. In this book he covers the period of the 7 Years War between France and Britain. This period has received very little coverage even though it was the first global conflict and marked the point when Britain emerged as the first global super power in history. The Royal Navy was the means of projecting power at will around the world and Britain was so far in advance of rival nations in the exercise of naval power that she was able to crush their navies. Isolated by the Channel from mainland Europe, Britain was protected from invasion and able to chose the time and place of land battles. What makes this book so enjoyable is that it follows the lives and battles of a group of sailors who served on the Dragon and the Monmouth. Uncovered first-person sources have resulted in an account which is both an authoritative historical presentation of events, and an engaging human story that could be a novel in its power to paint pictures in words. The publisher has inserted a number of colour plate sections, reproducing paintings of people and events, and also included a large number of bandw images through the body of the text, using engravings, sketches, charts and maps. In all it is a very worthwhile book that is easy to read but hard to put down,

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