BookPick Category

BookPick: Napoleonic Memoirs & Biographies

Among the many treasured volumes in my library are memoirs and biographies, which so often give wonderful insights into the individuals who strode the Napoleonic-era stage. I particularly enjoy hearing actual ‘voices’ from the past, they can really transport you back in time. Here are four recent titles that will appeal to all those drawn […]

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Books – and prints – for Santa’s Sack 2016

I’m a bit of a bah humbug man when it comes to the commercialisation of Christmas – but there’s one thing that I fervently believe: a book is a present that, if well chosen for the recipient, will give hours of pleasure and be a lasting reminder in itself of someone putting thought, not just […]

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BookPick: British Expeditionary Warfare and the Defeat of Napoleon

Britain’s naval victories in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars succeeded in protecting her from French invasion, but they could not of themselves defeat France. This required the support of allied armies and necessitated the shipping of formidable numbers of troops to, and successfully landing them on, French controlled territory – a major logistical operation […]

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BookPick: Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates

Among the many larger-than-life naval officers who strode the quarterdeck in the period I write about (1793-1815) Edward Pellew ranks among the most memorable. Not far from where I live in Devon is the site of his heroic action in saving the lives of some 500 men, women and children from certain death aboard the […]

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BookPick: Letters of Seamen in the Wars with France

Behind my decision to begin the Kydd series with a common seaman, rather than an officer, was my curiousity about (and admiration for) that tiny handful of men who crossed the great social divide in the eighteenth century from before the mast as a seaman to the quarterdeck as a king’s officer. In the bitter […]

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BookPick: Beyond Jutland

With this year seeing the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the Royal Navy’s last great set-piece sea battle, a number of important books on Jutland have been published. I reviewed a selection of these in a previous blog. There have also been some excellent other titles forthcoming this year on various aspects of The […]

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BookPicks: Man and the Sea

I’ve selected three BookPicks, separated in time from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. Although spanning half a millenium, together they deal with a number of important aspects of man’s relationship with the sea – courage facing danger in the exploration of the unknown; the struggle for supremacy of the oceans throughout much of our […]

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BookPicks: The Great War

This year is the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the Royal Navy’s last great set-piece sea battle. Rarely has an engagement with the enemy been so controversial, misunderstood, written about, discussed and disputed. I know from my own naval wardroom conversations that this continues to this day. A number of excellent books on Jutland […]

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BookPicks: An Easter Selection

With an early Easter coming up next month why not forget the chocolate eggs and Simnel cake and buy a book – either for yourself or to give to a friend. A book will bring hours of pleasure and be lasting reminder in itself of someone putting thought into a gift. Here’s my easter bookpicks […]

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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 […]

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