The book covers the main eras of the age of sail, starting with the Caroline navy, through Commonwealth, Restoration and the French and Napoleonic wars, and culminates in the steam - powered wooden battleships of the Victorian era. Each chapter is illustrated with well chosen paintings, etchings, photographs, mainly of the Admiralty models of the period, and wherever possible Admiralty drafts of appropriate ships. The design and careers of individual ships are briefly described with particular highlights covered in more detail. There are also numerous two - page spreads on related topics. The reproduction of the illustrations is, without exception, superb; clearly a lot of effort here has gone into getting the colour reproduction as close to the original as possible. The piece de resistance is a superb four - page fold out of the draft of HMS Victoria of 1863; a full - colour reproduction, replete with detail. This is a book to be recommended to anyone with an interest in these ships, which arguably constituted mankind's greatest technological achievements during the 300 years or so that they reigned supreme. (Warship- Naval Books of the Year)
Rif Winfield is the author of the three-volume series British Warships in the Age of Sail, which covers every Royal Navy vessel built, purchased, or captured between 1603 and 1817. He lives in the UK. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.