The "Fighting Temeraire" eBook º The

The "Fighting Temeraire" eBook º The Slightly pedantic and nationalistic at times but a fascinating historical study JMW Turner s The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to her Last Berth to be Broken Upwas his masterpiece This title tells the extraordinary tale behind the warship that inspired the painting Wonderful account of the ship that captured two French ships at Trafalgar and was much later the subject of Turner s painting, voted the favorite of the English public The painting, in turn, inspired Newbolt s poem Now the sunset s breezes shiver, And she s fading down the river, But in England s song for ever She s the Fighting Temeraire. In a recent poll, J M W Turner s The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838, depicting an aging warship being towed up the Thames to a breaking yard, was voted the British public s favourite painting It s easy to see why The Fighting Temeraire is a remarkable work, created at the peak of Turner s ability, and is a beautiful tribute to the passing of the previous age of tall ships and a time when Britannia for better or worse ruled the waves Many people may no In a recent poll, J M W Turner s The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838, depicting an aging warship being towed up the Thames to a breaking yard, was voted the British public s favourite painting It s easy to see why The Fighting Temeraire is a remarkable work, created at the peak of Turner s ability, and is a beautiful tribute to the passing of the previous age of tall ships and a time when Britannia for better or worse ruled the waves Many people may not be familiar with the history behind the masterpiece, a decades long story of two great warships and several wars, and a starring role in Britain s greatest naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 This story comprises the heart of the first of Sam Willis Hearts of Oak trilogy , which has the ambitious aim of creating biographies of a ship HMS Temeraire , a man The Admiral Benbow The Life And Times Of A Naval Legend , and a battle The Glorious First of June More accurately, though, this book is a biography of two great ships both the great Second rate depicted in Turner s painting and the French built 74 gun ship of the line captured at the spectacular British victory at the Battle of Lagos during the Seven Years War and of the many men who served and died aboard them In this Willis absolutely succeeds, devoting each chapter of the book to a specific vignette or aspect of command or life aboard ship in a way which helps to simplify what might otherwise have been a very complex history In doing so he addresses the key points in the histories of the two ships, such as the second Temeraire s decisive actions at Trafalgar, service in the Baltic, mutiny, and post war retirement as a prison hulk and victualing depot On doing so he uses the story of the two Temeraires to a tell a greater narrative, that of the triumph of the Royal Navy during the late 18th early 19th centuries and the eventual twilight of the great age of fighting sail The story is a fascinating one, well worth the telling, and Willis does so in a way that is highly accessible to non technically minded readers, entertaining, and robust in its scholarship Willis is clearlyinterested in naval history than art history His take on the former is detailed, and has an interesting focus on the Seven Years War known in these parts as the French and Indian War , where the original French ship of this name was captured by the British As with David Cordingly s The Billy Ruffian The Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon, the story of a single ship provides a frame for naval history of the period through both the well known fleet actions and the Willis is clearlyinterested in naval history than art history His take on the former is detailed, and has an interesting focus on the Seven Years War known in these parts as the French and Indian War , where the original French ship of this name was captured by the British As with David Cordingly s The Billy Ruffian The Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon, the story of a single ship provides a frame for naval history of the period through both the well known fleet actions and the boredom of blockade He resists telling Trafalgar in detail Instead, he explores the degree to which Temeraire s reputation, singled out among the British fleet, was built by the efforts of her captain, who had a gift for self promotion the question is not whether Temeraire fought well, but why she received disproportionate praise Willis is on less certain ground with art history He returns repeatedly to the poll that named Turner s painting most popular in England, and he talks a bit about the structure of the work, but this section is a postscriptthan a parallel to the earlier naval history I did appreciate his reconstruction of the big ship s final trip up the Thames as a public spectacle As with Jame Austen s Persuasion, it is a moment where the terrestrial society caught a glimpse of the maritime on which it depended, but mostly from a distance He closes with a discussion of iconic ships and their preservation What is missed here is any discussion of why some ships are saved, and others lost He paints a vision of Constitution or Victory up for auction, but these ships are protected by the myths they embody In contrast, USS Olympia is in active peril, the only surviving pre dreadnought But as Dewey s flagship in the Spanish American War, she symbolizes an imperial episode that most Americans not only forget, but of which they are happy to remain ignorant While mostly a biography in a loosely termed way of one of the most famous ships of the Royal Navy, an historical subsection that didn t really exist until a few years ago, this book is evenunique for the element of art history contained in its final chapters The majority of the book is devoted to the Temeraire s years in service, including her most famous day at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, all the way to her final years as a prison hulk, a depot ship, to finally being broken up in While mostly a biography in a loosely termed way of one of the most famous ships of the Royal Navy, an historical subsection that didn t really exist until a few years ago, this book is evenunique for the element of art history contained in its final chapters The majority of the book is devoted to the Temeraire s years in service, including her most famous day at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, all the way to her final years as a prison hulk, a depot ship, to finally being broken up in a wrecker s yard when she was deemed surplus to the peacetime Navy s needs In the book s final chapters exploring the painting J.M.W Turner created in her image and the relationship that the British public have today with that painting, Sam Willis also asks the reader to think about what the value of history is, and to appreciate and try to protect that history before it goes the way of Temeraire and most of her compatriots.I would also recommend if you like this The Billy Ruffian The Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon The HMS Temeraire was a 98 gun ship of the line at Trafalgar and played a crucial part in that battle This ship has a long and illustrious history in the days of fighting sail Thanks to the iconic painting The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner we have a nostalgic connection to the story of this great ship.This book is well written, it traces the story of the capture of the original Temeraire from the French at Lagos Bay 1759 and its subsequent service Then after the war and scrapping, a ne The HMS Temeraire was a 98 gun ship of the line at Trafalgar and played a crucial part in that battle This ship has a long and illustrious history in the days of fighting sail Thanks to the iconic painting The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner we have a nostalgic connection to the story of this great ship.This book is well written, it traces the story of the capture of the original Temeraire from the French at Lagos Bay 1759 and its subsequent service Then after the war and scrapping, a new 98 gun ship of the line continued the name and service through the Napoleonic wars The detail of life aboard the ship, victualling, logistics, and command I found fascinating.Later, when the days of fighting sail were but a memory, the Temeraire was finally sold off Being towed to the yard for scrapping, was the moment Turner chose to represent in his iconic painting I found it fascinating that the numerous technical errors in the painting were actually intentional Turner was not painting a true image of the event, but rather trying to convey an emotion, ultimately perhaps in the value of history and how we should treasure it.A great narrative, recommended reading This book is essentially a history of two ships and a painting all three connected by the single word Temeraire , which makes for an interesting and somewhat novel angle for a historical enquiry Sam Willis is an engaging writer and the book flows nicely, even though the history itself can tend a little toward the military patriotic bombast of the what made Great Britain great kind That said though, the book is an excellent examination of cultural perception, i.e how the ships and the This book is essentially a history of two ships and a painting all three connected by the single word Temeraire , which makes for an interesting and somewhat novel angle for a historical enquiry Sam Willis is an engaging writer and the book flows nicely, even though the history itself can tend a little toward the military patriotic bombast of the what made Great Britain great kind That said though, the book is an excellent examination of cultural perception, i.e how the ships and the paintings including Turner s first rendering of the Battle of Trafalgar itself were perceived both then and now, which the short compendium of poems at the end adds to nicely this reminded me rather of the obssessive notes of a sub sub librarian which precede Melville s Moby Dick a little This absorbing book was a wonderful combined read for someone like me who has a general interest in both nautical and art history, however, Willis is clearlyat home here discussing to a greater depth the nautical element of his history of the fighting Temeraire I read a lot of history intended for the lay public as opposed to professional historians, You could call this big picture or macro history This book is micro history covering in detail the story of two ships and a painting, starting in the year 1759.For the general reader this micro history would be deadly boring, but for denizens of the gunroom it is fascinating stuff.The first ship was built by the French and captured by the British navy in the Seven Years War in 1759.The second ship w I read a lot of history intended for the lay public as opposed to professional historians, You could call this big picture or macro history This book is micro history covering in detail the story of two ships and a painting, starting in the year 1759.For the general reader this micro history would be deadly boring, but for denizens of the gunroom it is fascinating stuff.The first ship was built by the French and captured by the British navy in the Seven Years War in 1759.The second ship was built by the British in the 1790 s and given the name of the first ship in honor of the original victory The new Temeraire played a key role in the famous battle of Trafalgar in the Napoleonic war.The fame of the Temeraire today, however, rests on the exsquisite painting by Joseph Turner.Click on the link below to see the painting where it now resides adjoining Trafalgar Square.http www.nationalgallery.org.uk pai I first noticed The Fighting Temeraire because of the Temeraire fantasy series by Naomi Novik This book covers the history of the two British ships that shared the name Temeraire the first was a French prize Spanning much of the Age of Sail and featuring many of the most famous battles of the era, The Fighting Temeraire was a real effort to wade through I don t mind working to get through a book A Random Walk Down Wall Street, I glance in your direction , but the learning really has to pa I first noticed The Fighting Temeraire because of the Temeraire fantasy series by Naomi Novik This book covers the history of the two British ships that shared the name Temeraire the first was a French prize Spanning much of the Age of Sail and featuring many of the most famous battles of the era, The Fighting Temeraire was a real effort to wade through I don t mind working to get through a book A Random Walk Down Wall Street, I glance in your direction , but the learning really has to pay off, and I didn t walk away with a real feel for what the age of sail was like Details that would have helped me picture what life on the ship was like were consistently skipped, and yet I was bogged down by dates and names that I could never picture or come to grips with I d like to be friendly to histories about the Age of Sail, but overall this book just didn t do it for me I do like Turner s famous painting of the ship, but that s not terribly unusual

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