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British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714-1792 (ePub)

Design, Construction, Careers and Fates

Maritime > Seaforth Publishing > Seaforth: Wooden Walls

By Rif Winfield
Seaforth Publishing
File Size: 46.0 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781783469253
Published: 1st December 2007


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The new Hanoverian dynasty that came to power with the accession of George I in 1714 inherited the largest navy in the world. In the course of the century, this force would see a vast amount of action against nearly every major navy, reaching a pinnacle of success in the Seven Years War only to taste defeat in the American Revolutionary struggle, when it faced the combined navies of France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the rebellious colonies themselves. Considering the contribution to history of these ships, there is surprisingly little readily available on their careers. Now this gap is comprehensively filled by this superb reference book, outlining the service history of every ship, built, purchased or captured, that fought for the Royal Navy in the great wars of the eighteenth century - well over 2000 vessels. The book is organised by Rate, classification and class, with outline technical and building data, but followed by a concise summary of the careers of each ship in every class. This includes commissioning dates, refit periods, changes of captain, the stations where they served (and when), as well as details of any noteworthy actions in which they took part. It will enable anyone to follow up a casual reference to any warship, and will provide the researcher with a solid core of information on which to base further study. With nothing remotely like it in print, this is a work of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navy of the sailing era.

Only the British navy publishing industry, and the Seaforth Publishing House in particular, could give life to an absolutely definitive cyclopean work on this subject, whose overall price is amply justified by a quality never seen before in other similar works.

STORIA militare, February 2018

A wonderful example of indefatigable research and scholarship.

Work Boat World - Oct 2009

Winfield has produced a magnificent volume. This is an invaluable work of reference an an essential tool for anyone researching the 18th Century Royal Navy.

Warship International Fleet Review

It is a remarkable piece of research and dissemination that any serious student of Royal Navy history should rush out to buy. Highly Recommended.

The Nelson Despatch

This is a monstrous piece of work and covers the design, construction and career or virtually every vessel that served in the Royal Navy between 1714 and 1792. Divided into ten chapters to cover all the various types of ships in commission, there are also additional appendices which expand on the many terms and abbreviations used throughout the book. The information on each ship is perhaps the most exhaustive I have seen in any volume of this type. There are plenty of illustrations, as well as line drawings, many of which have been specially commissioned for this book. If found it interesting to browse through in quiet moments and an excellent companion to the many books about ships from this period that have preceded this work.

Model Boats - August 2008

The work is a remarkable example of how an eminently talented author can ferret through the immense 18th century archives of the British Admiralty Board, and refine the raw contents into a superb reference book..... Altogether, a significant work of reference of immense value.

The Nautical Magazine - May 2008

This book is quite frankly superb and deserves to be included in the library of anyone interested in this period of Maritime history. For what it is, the book is far from expensive at £50.00.

David Clement – South West Soundings (South West Maritime History Society)

It is an easy to read book, which will serve to start the reader on researching a great period of British naval history. Specially drawn general arrangement plans, accompanying B&W photographs make this 384 page to me a must for anyone even remotely interested in the subject. Highly recommended.

Sea Breezes Magazine – April 2008
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About Rif Winfield

Rif Winfield has made a lifetime’s study of the sailing warship. He holds a degree in International Politics, and is a Fellow of the Society for Nautical Research. Besides a number of journal articles, he is the author of The 50-Gun Ship (published in 1997) and First Rate: The Greatest Warships of the Age of Sail (in 2010), and was responsible for bringing to fruition in 2004 The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889 (a project begun by the late David Lyon prior to his death in 2000). He is also the author of the comprehensive four-volume series on British Warships in the Age of Sail (covering chronologically all British warships between 1603 and 1863) and – with his co-author Stephen Roberts – a similar two volumes on French Warships in the Age of Sail, in the same series as the current work.

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