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Nelson's Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organization, 1793-1815 Paperback – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591146119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591146117
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Lavery, the curator of ship technology at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, is the author of several books, including Jack Aubrey Commands, Nelson and the Nile, and The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War, 1600-1815.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It has illustrations showing several interesting knots.
Meighan I. Dillon
With beautiful illustrations (from the era) it will help you understand the naval world of the Nelson/Napoleonic periods.
Mrs Gillian M. Lloyd
This is one of the best books I have read on the subject.
michael araiza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Meighan I. Dillon on June 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have ever encountered for this topic. It has something about everything. If you don't want a guide to all the parts, skip down to ***.
Part I shows the background and is very useful to someone who doesn't know about it already.
Part II is about the ships themselves. It's extremely informative and has many illustrations showing profiles of ships, from First Rates to unrated vessels. It talks about the fundamentals of ship design and the individual kinds of ships.
Part III is entitled, "Ship Building and Fitting." It is divided into four subtitles: Ship Construction; Fitting of Ships; Masts, Sails and Rigging; and Armament. Each provides extensive details in its respective subject.
Part IV is about the officers. It begins with telling about midshipmen (trainee officers) and their progress to the examination for lieutenant. Then the author tells us about the commisioned (or "sea") officers, telling us about the different ranks, "from lieutenant to admiral of the fleet", as he puts it. In this section, he also tells us about shore duties, half-pay, and retirement. He next discusses the warrant officers (who include the master, surgeon, purser, chaplain, boatswain {pronounced, "bo's'un"}, carpenter, gunner, and schoolmaster) and their duties and pay. The next subtitle is "Officers' Living Conditions," and it talks about uniforms very specificly from 1795-1814, but rather vaguely at other dates; decorations; swords; cabins; and victuals. The final subtitle for this book is about ship administration, and covers: the captain's responsibilities to raise a crew, keep a log, and turn in 25 forms to the admiralty; the purser's position; shipboard communication; and prize money.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've read a number of nonfiction books lately on the Royal Navy during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and this is far and away the best of them -- no comparison, not even Lavery's own _Jack Aubrey Commands_ (2003), which is in many ways merely a cut-down version of this encyclopedic volume. This is 350 pages of highly detailed, heavily illustrated discussion of every conceivable subject and all its subtopics, from the engineering principles of ship design and the differences among each of the different rates, to the divisional organization of the Royal Marines, to the truth (with statistics) behind the press gang system, to a disquisition on the differences in naval fighting tactics between the British and French and Spanish fleets -- and a great deal more. And there are even graphs, flow charts, and organization tables to bring disparate informatiion together. It's actually a very slow read because there's so much to absorb, even for the experienced fan of Forester and O'Brian -- but that's certainly not a criticism! I'll be referring back to this gorgeous, oversized book for many years to come.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
If you can only afford one book about the Royal Navy during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, then this is the one. Covering every aspect of the RN during the time of Horatio Nelson this book has it all from an historical background; details of the life on board for officers, men and marines; aspects of ship handling, weapons and tactics; and just about everything else immaginable. Extremely well illustrated, perhaps the only negative comment might be that it would be nice if a portion of the illustrations were in colour
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. A Butler on December 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being introduced to the period by Patrick O'brian's books, I have found that this volume is THE one to get about the British Navy during the Napoleonic wars. Full of scanned documents, diagrams, drawings/photos/art, a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge about everthing from how to provision a ship to how to sail it. Do not let this one sail away!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Gillian M. Lloyd on April 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tom Pocock's classic narrative biography of Horatio Lord Nelson and Joel Hayward's new and innovative thematic military analysis of Nelson's "warfighting" are both excellent and highly recommended, but without a good background knowledge of the Georgian Navy they might be a bit confusing in places. THIS is the book to provide that knowledge. It is wide in coverage and thorough in treatment. With beautiful illustrations (from the era) it will help you understand the naval world of the Nelson/Napoleonic periods.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alan C. Simkin on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are truly interested in the Navy of Lord Nelson and all the various aspects of its functioning and operation, this is THE book to own. It's hard to imagine a better book on this topic ever being written - it's that good. If you enjoy Civil War navies, there are two companion volumes in the same "series" by the same publisher. Lincoln's Navy and The Confederate Navy. Both from Conway. Excellent books, all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Sullivan on July 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As you will infer from the other reviews, rating this book is a snap: it ain't got no five-star average for nothing! If you're interested in Nelson's Navy and this fascinating period of history, just order the book and get on with your life. Until it arrives, that is, and then you'll have to drop everything else and delight in its reading. Nothing less than the epitome of a well-written, illustrated history.
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