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William Falconer first published his Marine Dictionary in 1769, and it obviously filled a need because it was not merely reprinted but was actively revised on numerous occasions in the last decades of the eighteenth century. Its alphabetical format provided not just succinct definitions of maritime terminology but detailed, and sometimes tabular data on many technical aspects of shipbuilding, fitting and armament, not to mention the Royal Navy's administrative and operational practices. Historians and modern enthusiasts for the age of sail have always been aware of the reference value of the work and by far the most desirable edition is the fourth, of 1815, as revised and greatly expanded by the naval historian and antiquarian William Burney. Because of the time it took for information to trickle down, earlier editions tend to be out of date when published, but Burney (who had good Admiralty contacts) contrived to get dimensions, tables and establishments actually used by the Navy of his day. This makes it a prime source for technical details during the classic age of Nelson. A couple of limited-run reprints were produced in the last century, but these are long out of print, and needless to say original editions fetch astronomical prices. Therefore, anyone with a more than passing interest in the ships or navies of the great French wars will welcome the publication of this high quality reprint of the 1815 edition. Falconer's Universal Dictionary of the Marine

Author: William Falconer

Title: Falconer's Universal Dictionary of the Marine

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Date: 1769

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