Eric J. Grove, The Royal Navy Since 1815: A New Short History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 300pp
As a former student of Professor Grove, I know that he can be a passionate and engaging lecturer on naval and military history. His lectures, delivered effortlessly without notes, would be comprehensive and educating yet full of fascinating and amusing anecdotes. Unfortunately, these qualities are not readily apparent in The Royal Navy since 1815, an overview of that most romantic of services that unfortunately busies itself with dry facts about tonnage, gun specifications and defence expenditures. As an academic reference text, it is a comprehensive overview skilfully mapping the development of the Royal Navy over the last 200 years. But, given that I know from personal experience how engagingly Grove can talk about this subject, this book seems like a missed opportunity.