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By Andrew D. Lambert

From the fellow defined through Amanda Foreman as 'one of the main eminent naval historians of our age' comes the tale of the way this country's maritime strength helped Britain achieve unheard of dominance of the world's economic system. instructed during the lives of ten of our so much amazing admirals, Andrew Lambert's booklet spans Elizabethan occasions to the second one global struggle, culminating with the spirit which led Andrew Browne Cunningham famously to claim, while the military feared he could lose too many ships, 'it takes 3 years to construct a boat; it takes 3 centuries to construct a tradition'.

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Sample text

But it was the effect of system, and nice combination, not of chance. 12 Indeed it is. But while no other naval commander has attained Nelson’s perfection, he did not invent the art of the admiral. He inherited a rich tradition stretching back two hundred years: his mentors feature in this book, as do his protégés. To understand this tradition, we need to look beyond the unique genius of one man and see how mere mortals exercised leadership and command in the most complex and demanding of environments.

40 when a Victory having been reported to the Rt. 2 There was something curiously complete about that juxtaposition of explosion, conclusion and transfiguration. It was truly sublime. As a self-conscious hero Nelson was well aware of the new artistic sensibilities that echoed contemporary political passions. Joseph Addison, one of his favourite authors, used the sublime as a suitable discourse to describe the deeds of heroes: noble, heaven-born figures who could elevate mere mortals to a higher plane.

He had seized the throne of Portugal on the same grounds only a few years before. Moreover, Philip had a noble aim: he was going to kill thousands to restore the benighted English to the bosom of the true church. Spain, the superpower of the sixteenth century, had just absorbed Portugal and her immense trade empire in Asia, adding jewels and spices to the silver of the New World. But not everyone in the Spanish Empire was content. The Protestant Dutch had rebelled; Elizabeth provided money and manpower to support their efforts, as she did to those of the Huguenots who opposed Spanish influence in France.

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