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The Royal Navy, Painted by Norman L Wilkinson Described by H Lawrence Swinburne


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Condition : Good, considering age.
First Edition, Adam & Charles Black, London, 1907, Vintage Large-format Hardback – Naval History – 224pp. Top edge gilt. Blue decorative boards with gilt lettering. Some browning with Signs of repair to spine. Previous SA Library copy.

With some notes on the Costume of the Sailors of the Past by Commander Charles N Robinson RN and Illustrated by J. Jellicoe. Frontispiece colour plate of HMS Dreadnought. xx, 378p. 61 full page illustrations in colour captioned to tissues, 51 by Wilkinson and 10 of costumes by J.Jellicoe.

“Mr. Swinburne has written a very careful and temperate account of the rise of the British Navy. It is perhaps a little cold in tone; we have got into the habit of expecting some enthusiasm when the historian describes a great scene. We do not complain; the gradual evolution of the Navy and its traditions are not less evident because they are put in sober language. In the story of the coming and the vanquishing of the Armada we feel Mr. Swinburne’s pulse beating a little stronger, and the great struggle is not unworthily suggested. We should have liked a little more force, but that is our only complaint.
For the rest, the several phases of naval seamanship, the culmination of the science and seamanship which, steadily growing in the Common- wealth and during the early Georgian period, under such men as Anson, Rodney, and Hawke, gave to Howe, Jervis, and Nelson the splendid squadrons that kept the seas for us, are described in admirable sequence and clearness.
The chapter on costume is valuable and is excellently illustrated, and the rest of the volume has some charming drawings of the old wooden walls and some animated battle-pieces. Three long and important chapters analyse the Navy of to-day and its personnel; and give useful information as to the torpedo craft and the submarines. Nor does the modern artist find the ironclad a wholly uncongenial subject, as Mr. Wilkinson’s drawings prove.” – The Spectator, 4th-january-1908.

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