Publisher: Helion and Company (November 30, 2023)
Paperback: 304 pages
Containing the proceedings of the inaugural Helion & Company Naval Warfare in the Age of Sail Conference, this volume includes chapters from experienced and emerging scholars from across the world, on various aspects of the naval history of the age of reason and revolution.
This work contains its fair share of high-seas action; Thomas Golding examines the ‘Nile that wasn’t,’ the Battle of St Lucia, during the American Revolutionary Wars, and Nicholas J. Kaizer examines the significance of the Peacock-Epervier action of the War of 1812. The North American focus is continued by Andrew Lyter’s exploration of black pilots in the British Navy during that conflict, and Robin Thomas’ exploration of the various squadrons of the Royal Navy in North America and the West Indies during the period of peace between the Seven Years War and the American Revolution.
Notwithstanding that this is a history work published in the English-speaking world, French, Spanish, and even Venetian naval power too are given a fair assessment. Olivier Aranda, of the University of Paris, pitches in to assess the success of the French flying squadrons of the early 1790s. Albert Parker explores how Spain utilized seapower during the 1730s and 1740s, and Mauro Difrancesco examines the Venetians during the Second Morean War.
Of course, naval administration, recruitment, and other aspects of manpower are well served. Joseph Krulder examines the role of socioeconomics on naval recruitment in the 1750s, and Jim Tildesley likewise examines the role played by British Consuls in the North Sea on recruitment for the Royal Navy. Callum Easton’s chapter examines the Greenwich Pensioners, comparing how society perceived this class of retired sailors to the reality. Andrew Johnston covers changing patterns in Royal Navy Courts Martial at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. On the strategic level, Paul Leyland assesses the role played by Antwerp in British and French naval strategies. Finally, Andrew Young examines the herculean role played by Anson in the building of Britain’s navy and its capacity to project power.