Britannia's Realm presents part two in Richard Woodman's groundbreaking five-volume series on the mercantile marine. Full of risk, adventure and heroic action, this volume carries the reader throughout the wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including the difficulties of the American Rebellion and a war in which the maritime states of Europe combined against Britain, her mercantile marine maintaining trade against the odds. The long conflict with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France which followed was by no means settled after Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. A ten-year war to maintain trade ensued, the vital essence of Britain's ability to fight and win against the might of Napoleon's Empire. To achieve this objective, her Merchant Navy was of supreme importance and had to fight for its very existence. This detailed work takes into account a number of features of maritime war such as privateering, the part played by the East India Company and the French war on trade, and tells the real story of the extent of impressment and press gangs. Full of incident and colourful characters, it draws together a number of elements which elevate British merchant endeavour to their proper place in our history, constantly arguing that for the most part trade did not follow the flag, but it was usually the other way round.
Author: Richard Woodman
Title: Britannia's Realm: In Support of the State 1763-1816
Series: A History of the British Merchant Navy
First Published by: The History Press Ltd
Date: 1 March 2009