The Age of the Ship of the Line: The British and French Navies, 1650-1815
The “ship of the line” was the equivalent of the battleship in navies in the age of sail. While numerous smaller types of naval vessels played critical roles in battle, blockading, and convoy protection, the large and heavily-armed ship of the line was the final arbiter when it came to maritime supremacy. Acclaimed naval historian Jonathan Dull takes the reader through the intricacies of warship design and construction in both French and British navies and the wars they and their allies waged from 1688 to the fall of Napoleon in 1815. Dull’s knowledge of the topic is encyclopedic, and he offers both the first-time researcher and the specialist a comprehensive study of these ships and the role they played in allowing the Royal Navy to dominate the world’s oceans at book’s end. I can think of no better tool for a writer wishing to publish in the ever-popular field of Age of Sail fiction than The Age of the Ship of the Line.