Book Review – ‘A History of the Royal Navy: Empire and imperialism’ by Steven Gray

By Steven Gray, published November 2020


Part of the wider series commissioned by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, this volume differs with the majority of the collection by not focusing on a particular period or war, but instead on the relationship between the navy and empire. Spence not only attempts to cover the navy’s expansionist role on land and sea, ‘from the earliest days of colonisation to the present-day Commonwealth’ but ‘also the ideological and cultural influence it exerted for both the coloniser and colonised’. It is a huge undertaking, especially in a volume of 256 pages, yet is a worthy endeavour.

This is a book which tackles a subject that has been under examined for too long …

Despite the book’s brevity, it should not be easily dismissed. The book is also well illustrated, with an impressive array of photographs and art …

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Filed under: Napoleonic War | Tudors | Early Modern | Eighteenth Century | Other (Early Modern) | Nineteenth Century | Other (Nineteenth C) | Twentieth Century
Subjects include: Miscellaneous | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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