For over forty years it has been all but impossible to begin an undergraduate lecture, a book or paper dealing with aspects of military conflict in the early modern period, without reference to the inaugural address given by Michael Roberts in 1956 on The Military Revolution 1560-1660.
In the bicentenary year of Trafalgar it is appropriate to remember that the history of Britain, its current situation and future prospects reflect an overwhelming geographical fact. Britain is a collection of islands at once alongside, but not attached to the European Continent.
In the last two decades numerous maritime historians have answered Daniel Vicker's call ‘to integrate what we now know about life at sea with our increasingly sophisticated understanding of life in port’, and began researching the complex connections between life aboard ships and societies ashore.(1) The followers of the ‘new maritime history’ have challenged the stere