Author Rif Winfield has a new book out which is now available for pre-order in hardcover, First Rate: The Greatest Warships of the Age of Sail. Release date 30 July 2010.
In the sailing era First Rates were the largest, most powerful and most costly ships to construct, maintain and operate. Built to the highest standards, they were lavishly decorated and given carefully considered names that reflected the pride and prestige of their country. They were the very embodiment of national power, and as such drew the attention of artists, engravers and printmakers. This means that virtually every British First Rate from the Prince Royal of 1610 to the end of sail is represented by an array of paintings, drawings, models or plans.