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The Royal Navy 1793–1800 (Hardback)

Birth of a Superpower

British History Royal Navy Naval

By Mark Jessop
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 190
ISBN: 9781526720337
Published: 28th November 2018



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France declared war upon the British in 1793. The burden to conduct a long conflict proved heavy for that island nation. Poverty increased. Liberties and freedoms were sometimes taken away. Thousands of men had to leave their families, and disease, desertion and death meant that many never returned.

At first the Royal Navy barely had enough warships to cope, but eight years later she had more than enough. By that time a threat of invasion towards Ireland prompted Parliament to enact a new nation, christened The United Kingdom of Great Britain. As such, 1800 became the final year of the old Kingdom of Great Britain.

As she passed away, many of her men and women might have wondered as to what had made her navy a true Neptune. What had assisted the slow birth of a naval 'superpower'? This book seeks to answer that very question.

This is an original approach that works well, blending fiction and fact. The author produced the history book equivalent of a docu-drama, based on extensive research and the use of primary source material, and 19th C secondary source material. I highly recommend this book.

For the full review, click here

Firetrench, March 2019

★★★★★ Deep love of the subject
This has the hallmarks of a writer who loves the subject matter, and wants to share that love and knowledge. This enthusiasm is noticeable on every page, and makes it an easy read. If the 19th century Royal Navy is your 'thing’, this is a must have.

Customer Review, Mighty Ape, NZ

Considering the short length of the book (159 pp) this is an incredibly detailed look at the Royal Navy rising to the challenge of the French Revolutionary War, a war we did not choose. All manner of aspects are studied - shipbuilding and repair, armament, manning, life on board a wooden wall, victualling etc. Jessop usefully reminds us of the way the naval war impacted the lives of people far removed from actual sea service, in farm and forest and manufactory. We see how the naval war reached deep into the life of our country in all sorts of ways. All of this is backed up by very deep research and informed by the author's own RN sea service. It includes what are in effect monographs on, for instance, the Press and the surgeon and his role. Somehow the whole sweep is crammed in from the diplomatic, political and strategic to the logistical, with excellently clear accounts of major actions like St Vincent and the Nile.

Read the full review here

Amazon Customer, Robert Griffiths
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