Sovereigns of the Sea: The Quest to Build the Perfect Renaissance Battleship

Written by Angus Konstam
Review by John R. Vallely

The large and heavily armed “ship of the line” or “battleship” played a central role in naval history from early times to the submarine/aircraft carrier era. Prolific naval and military writer Angus Konstam reminds us that the story began not with Nelson and Fisher, but in the 16th century. Monarchs in the Renaissance coveted the battleship as a vital ingredient in defense and power projection as well as symbols of royal prestige. Konstam presents the reader with tales of the unlucky Mary Rose and Vasa to go along with an extraordinary analysis of Renaissance technology and shipbuilding.