Monday, 31 January 2011

'Britain and the Sea': the first journal review!


Well, the first journal review of Britain and the Sea since 1600 is in, and it's another good one. Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History at King's College London, has been very kind again after picking the book out as his choice for 'Book of the Year' in the BBC History Magazine.

But in the first formal academic comments to be published, he goes further and deeper than he was obviously able to in the short review for the BBC.

Professor Lambert argues:

His creative synthesis brings together much of what is best in recent scholarship with wider academic concerns to provide a holistic approach to an oceanic nation.... O’Hara has provided a new structure to frame a large field, just as the national relationship with the sea continues to shift and change, as it has done since men first conceived that relationship as one that involved human choice, rather than divine agency. The impressive scholarly apparatus demonstrates a substantial engagement with the literature, and provides a fine guide to anyone essaying a new avenue of research.

It's always gratifying to get good reviews. But to get one from the venerable English Historical Review is a lift of another order. The reception for this book seems to get better and better - a necessary corrective to the inevitable 'January blues'!

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