BookPick: A History of the Royal Navy: Empire and Imperialism

This book is part of the eminently readable ongoing History of the Royal Navy Series published by I.B.Tauris, in association with the National Museum for the Royal Navy. The series, when complete, will consist of three chronologically themed books covering the sailing navy from the 1660s until 1815; the navy in the nineteenth century from the end of the Napoleonic Wars; and the Navy since 1900. These core volumes are complemented by titles on particular wars or specific aspects of the Service. All the books are standalone titles and taken together will provide a very comprehensive and accessible history of the Royal Navy from its beginnings to the present day. Six titles have been published to date.

History Royal NavyThis latest volume reveals how the Royal Navy was central to the rise of imperial Britain. The British Empire, the largest in history, was fundamentally a maritime one. Britain’s imperial power was inextricably tied to the strength of the Royal Navy, the ability to protect and extend Britain’s political and economic interests overseas, and to provide the vital bonds that connected the metropole with the colonies. This book examines the Navy’s expansionist role on land and sea and also the ideological and cultural influence it exerted for both the coloniser and colonised. The Navy’s voyages of discovery created new scientific knowledge and inspired art, literature and film. Using the model of the Royal Navy, colonies began to develop their own navies, many of which supported the Royal Navy in the major conflicts of the twentieth century.

The book is divided into seven chapters and includes useful footnotes to each chapter, a bibliography and index, as well as illustrations and tables.

This study of probably the greatest ornament to British history is colourful, insightful and an absorbing read and this reviewer has no hesitation in recommending it to newcomer and old salt alike.

Daniel Owen Spence A History of the Royal Navy
Published by I B Tauris. ISBN ISBN978 1 78076 543 3

And to being the first BigJules blog of 2016, may I wish you all Happy New Year!

5 Comments on “BookPick: A History of the Royal Navy: Empire and Imperialism”

  1. Pingback: Books – and prints – for Santa’s Sack 2016 | Nighthawk News

  2. Pingback: Books – and prints – for Santa’s Sack 2016 | Julian Stockwin

  3. Sorry for being so tardy in responding to this blog, but was curious as to your assessment of “Maritime History of Britain and Ireland” by Ian Friel. I have found it to be a great addition to my library having purchased it at the British Museum some years back.



  4. Pingback: BookPick: A History of the Royal Navy: Empire and Imperialism | Nighthawk News

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