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Halton & Truscot Smith, London. First Edition in four volumes. One of the most widely acclaimed marine anthologies ever written. Frank C. Bowen takes the reader on an epic journey through maritime history, from The Dawn of Sea History through to modern times (1875) with Pleasure Sailing that charts the history of the America's Cup with over five hundred illustrations of Ships, Events and Mariners. The volumes concentrate on Anglo Saxon marine history, commencing with: Vol i to 1697. The discovery of Britain, the invaders, - Danes, Romans and Norman, on through the early French wars and King Harry and the Tudor's, the Spanish Menace, and the build up of the British navy by the Stuart's. The early explorers and traders with the opening up of the Orient. Vol ii 1698 to 1783; delves into the Spanish Succession and the ongoing struggles of the British with France and Spain. The attempt to colonise America and the ensuing wars, the use of Privateers and the tolerance by the authorities to Privateers, Pirates, Smugglers, and Slavers. The Eighteenth Century Explorers, Seamen and their ships are all well detailed. Vol iii 1784 - 1814; is a graphic insight into aspects of the French Revolutionary war, Nelson and the rise of Napoleon. Trafalgar and the aftermath and a look into the Infant Navy of the United States The chapter analyses the Ships of the period, Privateers, Filibusters and Sea Law breakers. Vol iv 1815 - 1875 details the development of the warship and steam, the build up of the European and World Navies, Nineteenth Century exploration. All volumes with a hint of foxing to the fore-edges and end papers otherwise in near fine condition. Bound in gilt embossed blue cloth covered end boards. All vols bear previous owners bookplate. Condition 8 out of 10.