History book reviews

Reviews of the latest history books, all written by expert historians.

 

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The Conquest of the Ocean: The Illustrated History of Seafaring
by Brian Lavery
Sam Willis has mixed feelings about a volume that comes up short in its aim to tell the global history of seafaring
The Savage Storm: Britain on the Brink in the Age of Napoleon
by David Andress
Alan Forrest on an account exploring the military, social and political state of Britain as it battled Napoleon's forces
Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain
by Stephen Taylor
Sam Willis is enthralled by a biography of Edward Pellew, a naval officer who provided the template for a fictional hero
Able Seamen: The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy 1850–1939
by Brian Lavery
GH Bennett follows the stories of lower deck seamen in a time of transformation for the Royal Navy
Able Seamen: The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy 1850–1939
by Brian Lavery
GH Bennett follows the stories of lower deck seamen in a time of transformation for the Royal Navy
Britain’s Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt
by Richard Gott
John MacKenzie is not convinced by a survey of the British empire’s crimes
The Glorious First of June
by Sam Willis
Andrew Lambert applauds a new account of a pivotal naval battle by an author with salt water in his veins
The Zong: A Massacre, the Law and the End of Slavery
by James Walvin
Madge Dresser applauds an insightful study of a slave ship atrocity and its aftermath
Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas
by Anne Salmond
Jonathan Lamb feels that a new biography of the Bounty captain William Bligh is excessively kind to its subject
1492: The Year Our World Began
by Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Jerry Brotton savours a global history of a decisive year
The Great Sea
by David Abulafia
Bettany Hughes reads an epic history of the turbulent Mediterranean
Poxed and Scurvied
by Kevin Brown
Glyn Williams on diseases and cures for sailors of the past
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