The War for All the Oceans: From Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterlooby Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins, Patrick Lawlor (Narrated by)
Roy Adkins, with his wife, Lesley, returns to the Napoleonic War in The War for All the Oceans, a gripping account of the naval struggle that lasted from 1798 to 1815, a period marked at the beginning by Napoleon's seizing power and at the end by the War of 1812. In this vivid and visceral account, Adkins draws on eyewitness records to portray not only the battles but also the details of a sailor's life—shipwrecks, press-gangs, prostitutes, spies, and prisoners of war.
The War for All the Oceans is epic narrative history sure to appeal to fans of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forester, as well as all readers of military and social history.
- Tantor Media, Inc.
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- Unabridged CD
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- 6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.60(d)
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Meet the Author
Lesley Adkins, a historian and an archaeologist, is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is the author of Empires of the Plain: Henry Rawlinson and the Lost Languages of Babylon.
Roy Adkins, a historian and an archaeologist, is the author of the bestselling Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World.
Patrick Lawlor has recorded over three hundred audiobooks in just about every genre. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I picked up this volume after going through an exhibit in a museum in St. Louis, witnessing some of the majestic contributions of the Emperor's era in terms of sculpture, paintings, and dress. Expanding my investigation, I discovered War for All the Oceans and, without reading a page or a review, purchased it. I was not dissapointed. The depth the authors Adkins reach in relating and revealing life in those times is applaudable, as is their skill at telling true stories of those remarkable figures involved. I commend this because it is not hard to attribute to most of these figures an otherworldly quality and reputation. This book presents real people in desperately trying times and conditions, and makes sure that each story is accomplished with detail, but not in a style too clincal. The authors have a genuine love and appreciation of the sea, to say nothing of a sympathy for the seemingly endless plight of the sailors. Every fight, expedition, manuever and gamble is described with the excitement one might expect from a Captain Aubrey or Horatio Hornblower novel, and the informative value of the book is just as great. One minor note, there was a definite sense of rooting on the side of the authors for the British. And while diaries and letters are presented from all sides involved, the authors want you to know that the British were going to win the whole time. Not as though you didn't know.
A comprehensive review of the naval aspect of the Napoleonic Wars which, as the authors convincingly argue, was the decisive aspect in Napoleon¿s ultimate failure. The Adkins¿ instruct the reader by explaining the meaning of the day¿s naval terms in footnotes each time they are used or quoted and cite often from the participants diaries, letters, and other reminiscences to depict what life was like fighting on the high seas.
There were several weaknesses with the book. While the extensive quoting was a strength they do often go to excess, depriving the reader of the broader contextualization and analysis that hindsight permits the historian to engage in. I would have liked to have seen more in this way from the authors. Topics and focuses are also dropped and taken up rather clumsily at points and the narrative was not as exciting as it could have been.
Nevertheless, any reader of Forrester and O¿Brien should take this book up to gain the historical basis and inspiration for Hornblower and Aubrey.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Having said that though, it was not nearly as good as I had hoped. The Adkins have done a terrific job of collecting and organizing all of the personal vignettes and anecdotes associated with the Royal Navy's 20+ years of naval warfare with France and its allies during the Napoleonic wars. I think I might have liked a bit more of the strategy and tactics, with maps, associated with the major fleet actions; and I think the book was badly served by leaving out a more detailed description of the Battle of Trafalgar. The Adkins literally spent about a page and a half on Trafalgar, and then had the chutzpah to include a footnote reference to their book on Trafalgar. All in all though, I am glad that I read "The War for All the Oceans" as it gave me a firmer historical foundation and a context in which to place some of the activities and adventures described by Patrick O'Brian in his brilliant Aubrey-Maturin series of historical naval fiction.