The author is one of the foremost naval historians of his generation with special skill and knowledge of sailing warships of the 18th and 19th Centuries. He has been widely published for many years and his knowledge sought by period film companies. This book therefore needs little introduction. What it does very well is provide full colour illustration of ships that have long since ceased to exist. Traditionally, books covering the history and technology of these wooden warships have required drawings and sketches, with a few colour photographs of rare survivors, such as HMS Victory, USS Constitution, and the Swedish Vasa. What the author has done is use colour photographs of models held in the great maritime museums and originally built mostly for training or sales purposes.