The story of the first modern naval arms race, when European monarchs vied with each other to build the biggest and most prestigious warship afloat.
It is set at a time when the technologies of shipbuilding and gun-founding were being transformed - a revolutionary period in the way ships were designed and used. For the first time guns were being carried on board warships, and although it took time, the new weapon would completely transform the way sea battles were fought, and won.
The Renaissance might well have been a time of great cultural and intellectual rebirth in Europe, spreading like ripples from its birthplace in Italy, but it was also a period of great political upheaval. Kingdoms such as France and England were turning their back on feudalism, and developing as nation states where power was safeguarded by centralised government and standing armies. It is against this fascinating backdrop that our story runs its course.
Author: Angus Konstam
Title: Sovereigns of the Sea: The Quest to Build the Perfect Renaissance Battleship
First Published by: J. Wiley & Sons
Date: 1 August 2008