The War for All the Oceans

The War for All the Oceans : From Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo

3.87 (324 ratings by Goodreads)
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A brutal, action-packed account of the sea battles of the Napoleonic War by the author of the bestselling Nelson's Trafalgar and co-author of the forthcoming Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History (March 2018) As he did with his much lauded Nelson's Trafalgar, Roy Adkins (now writing with wife Lesley) again thrusts readers into the perils and thrills of early-nineteenth-century warfare. From its very first page, this is an adventure story--a superb account of the naval war that lasted from Napoleon's seizure of power in 1798 to the War of 1812 with the United States. Providing a ringside seat to the decisive battles, as well as detailed and vivid portraits of sailors and commanders, press-gangs, prostitutes, and spies, The War for All the Oceans is "a rollicking, patriotic account of the Napoleonic wars that will go down well with Master and Commander fans" (The Telegraph).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 137 x 208 x 33mm | 499g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143113925
  • 9780143113928
  • 741,813

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Review quote

"Hazardous but often abortive operations, fireships and rocket batteries, primitive torpedoes . . . such daredevilry comes alive--a drama of blazing ships and broadsides and the awesome power of the elements, which even the finest of the many modern fiction interpreters of the era could hardly improve on."
--The Sunday Times (London) "One of the many strengths of this book is the way that it is not just the captains and commanders who speak to us through the numerous firsthand accounts that the authors weave into their narrative, but also the seamen and the prostitutes--thus conveying a sense of the Great War's human dimensions, as well as the official history, the black humor as well as the bravery, the devilry as well as the sheer dogged determination to survive and win this hellish war."
--Salon "Engrossing . . . The Adkinses display such superb technological knowledge of their subject . . . A superior work of maritime history that both scholars and general readers should enjoy."
--Booklist "In this vivid history, the husband-and-wife historians . . . illuminate aspects of life at war and on the home fronts, quoting from diaries, letters, and journals. Sumptuous storytelling re-creates the first worldwide war. . . . This real-life action will delight fans of fictional heroes from the same wars--Horatio Hornblower (C.S. Forester) and Richard Sharpe (Bernard Cornwell)."
--Kirkus Reviews "Meticulously researched--drawing on extensive and intimate eyewitness accounts from contemporary journals, letters and memoirs--this lively narrative will delight students and fans of nautical history."
--Publishers Weekly "A rollicking, patriotic account of the Napoleonic wars that will go down well with Master and Commander fans."
--The Telegraph "Lesley and Roy Adkins deserve our gratitude for allowing some of these 'sturdy souls' to speak again so vividly."
--The Observer (London)

"Very readable and lively. There are tales of derring-do alongside portraits of characters such as the brilliant, eccentric naval commander Sir Sidney Smith."
--Financial Times "The stories in this book evoke the romance of seafaring in the age of wooden ships and muzzle-loading guns. All the original firsthand texts are well-selected and written with verve and clarity. This is fine entertainment."
--Naval History "A fascinating study . . . In this action-packed and highly readable book, the narrative rattles along like a C.S. Forester or Patrick O'Brian novel, with a wealth of detail about naval life . . . making this one of the most authoritative but accessible studies of Nelson's navy available."
--The Geographical Journal "A first-class book, wide in scope and gripping in detail. From diseases to prostitutes to military action, Adkins brings knowledge and power to the subject. It would be difficult to find a more creative book on the British navy during its most tumultuous period."
--Oxford Times "Full of gripping eyewitness accounts of what happened . . .We won't spoil the ending but Nelson plays a blinder."
--Motor Boat & Yachting "Roy and Lesley Adkins have written a marvelous narrative history. . . . There is no question that sea power contributed mightily to Napoleon's defeat, and this fine book drives home that point colorfully."
--History Book Club "Another masterly work from the Adkinses . . . a breathtaking journey through one of the most glorious periods."
--The Herald Express
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About Roy Adkins

Roy Adkins is a historian and archaeologist. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London. His previous books include The Keys of Egypt: The Obsession to Decipher Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Dictionary of Roman Religion, and Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome.
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Rating details

324 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 26% (85)
4 43% (138)
3 24% (79)
2 6% (18)
1 1% (4)
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