Dan Snow brings together, as other contributors have said, in a very engrossing way, the different facets which were most important and uppermost in the minds of the British governments of the day and of lasting significance to the British till this day and beyond. Principally commercial advantage and security allied with new scientific and technical developments, all very energetically and capably pursued, none sacrificed for the other. Common sense suggests that to become the leading commercial and naval leading power, it could hardly be otherwise, it was not by accident and not without fierce competition. However historians generally tend to fragment the story into partitions, losing the sense of coherence and purpose which undoubtedly drove it. Dan Snow, by approaching the subject on its own terms, is able to convey the exhilarating ambition, purpose and achievement. It is a remarkable story, for once very well told.
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