Britannia's Navy on the West Coast of North America, 1812-1914

Heritage House Publishing Co
Free sample

The influence of the Royal Navy on the development of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest was both effective and extensive. Yet all too frequently, its impact has been ignored by historians, who instead focus on the influence of explorers, fur traders, settlers, and railway builders. In this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of his classic 1972 work, naval historian Barry Gough examines the contest for the Columbia country during the War of 1812, the 1844 British response to President Polk’s manifest destiny and cries of “Fifty-four forty or fight,” the gold-rush invasion of 30,000 outsiders, and the jurisdictional dispute in the San Juan Islands that spawned the Pig War. The author looks at the Esquimalt-based fleet in the decade before British Columbia joined Canada and the Navy’s relationship with coastal First Nation over the five decades that preceded the Great War.
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About the author

Canadian historian Barry Gough has published more than eighteen books to critical acclaim, including Historical Dreadnoughts: Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History; Through Water, Ice & Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812; and Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams. For his contributions to civic life in Canada he has received many accolades, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is president of the British Columbia Historical Federation. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Heritage House Publishing Co
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Published on
Jun 16, 2016
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781772031102
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
History / Military / Canada
History / Military / Naval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This is the story of the remarkable, intersecting careers of the two greatest writers on British naval history in the twentieth century – the American professor Arthur Marder, son of immigrant Russian Jews, and Captain Stephen Roskill, who knew the Royal Navy from the inside. Between them, these contrasting characters were to peel back the lid of historical secrecy that surrounded the maritime aspects of the two world wars, based on the privileged access to official papers they both achieved through different channels.

Initially their mutual interests led to a degree of friendly rivalry, but this was to deteriorate into a stormy academic feud fought out in newspaper columns and the footnotes of their books – much to the bemusement (and sometimes amusement) of the naval history community. Out of it, surprisingly, emerged some of the best historical writing on naval themes, and a central contribution of this book is to reveal the process by which the two historians produced their literary masterpieces.

Anyone who has read Marder’s From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow or Roskill’s The War at Sea – and they were both bestsellers in their day – will be entertained and enlightened by this story of the men A J P Taylor called ‘our historical dreadnoughts’.

This is the story of the remarkable, intersecting careers of the two greatest writers on British naval history in the twentieth century – the American professor Arthur Marder, son of immigrant Russian Jews, and Captain Stephen Roskill, who knew the Royal Navy from the inside. Between them, these contrasting characters were to peel back the lid of historical secrecy that surrounded the maritime aspects of the two world wars, based on the privileged access to official papers they both achieved through different channels.

Initially their mutual interests led to a degree of friendly rivalry, but this was to deteriorate into a stormy academic feud fought out in newspaper columns and the footnotes of their books – much to the bemusement (and sometimes amusement) of the naval history community. Out of it, surprisingly, emerged some of the best historical writing on naval themes, and a central contribution of this book is to reveal the process by which the two historians produced their literary masterpieces.

Anyone who has read Marder’s From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow or Roskill’s The War at Sea – and they were both bestsellers in their day – will be entertained and enlightened by this story of the men A J P Taylor called ‘our historical dreadnoughts’.
Emma Hamilton, much maligned by her contemporaries and later by historians and commentators, rose from the most humble beginnings to play a startling role in Britain’s naval victory over France and Spain in 1805. In this new book Barry Gough, employing the letters between the protagonists, and the unpublished examination of her career by famed American historian of the Royal Navy Arthur Marder, strongly defends Emma. He shows how this most talented of women and the beauty of her age fell victim to innuendo, slander and cruel caricature. She was to die in poverty in Calais in 1815, just months before Napoleon’s final defeat.
England’s greatest sailor fell deeply in love with Emma in the years before Trafalgar. This, together with his quest for glory and victory entangled him in an inescapable web of circumstances and calumny. The author explores the evolving scandal, the high political stakes that were involved, and the love affair itself which so influenced the fortunes of England’s glory and the fate of her Wooden Walls. No novelist could have created such a tortuous scenario, charged as it was with high emotions, slurs, insults and slander.

Richly illustrated throughout, the book shows Emma, probably the most painted woman of her age, in all her glories; it also shows how heartlessly caricaturists treated her. ‘That Hamilton woman’ will long remain a controversial figure but here the author places her as one of the forces that gave the Royal Navy its will to fight and conquer. He depicts sympathetically a woman entrapped in circumstances of her own making, her saga reminding us of how frail is human fortune.
Emma Hamilton, much maligned by her contemporaries and later by historians and commentators, rose from the most humble beginnings to play a startling role in Britain’s naval victory over France and Spain in 1805. In this new book Barry Gough, employing the letters between the protagonists, and the unpublished examination of her career by famed American historian of the Royal Navy Arthur Marder, strongly defends Emma. He shows how this most talented of women and the beauty of her age fell victim to innuendo, slander and cruel caricature. She was to die in poverty in Calais in 1815, just months before Napoleon’s final defeat.
England’s greatest sailor fell deeply in love with Emma in the years before Trafalgar. This, together with his quest for glory and victory entangled him in an inescapable web of circumstances and calumny. The author explores the evolving scandal, the high political stakes that were involved, and the love affair itself which so influenced the fortunes of England’s glory and the fate of her Wooden Walls. No novelist could have created such a tortuous scenario, charged as it was with high emotions, slurs, insults and slander.

Richly illustrated throughout, the book shows Emma, probably the most painted woman of her age, in all her glories; it also shows how heartlessly caricaturists treated her. ‘That Hamilton woman’ will long remain a controversial figure but here the author places her as one of the forces that gave the Royal Navy its will to fight and conquer. He depicts sympathetically a woman entrapped in circumstances of her own making, her saga reminding us of how frail is human fortune.
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