BERCKMAN, Evelyn. Creators and Destroyers of the English Navy : as related by the State Papers Domestic. London : Hamish Hamilton, (1974). First Edition. Pp (8),[ix]-xii,(2),-212 + 16 pages of plates. 8vo, dark blue cloth, gilt lettering to spine.
Evelyn Domenica Berckman (b. October 18, 1900, Philadelphia – d. September 18, 1978, Kensington, London).
A comparative examination of the naval policies of Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, Cromwell, and Charles II.
"The Creators: Elizabeth 1, Charles 1, and Charles II. The Destroyers: James I, and Oliver Cromwell. For a hundred years the Navy alternately flourished and rotted in neglect. During Elizabeth's reign, piracy was kept to a minimum; when James l, intent on more personal matters than the strength of his Fleet, reigned, Dutch fishermen trespassed in English waters, harbours and lighthouses decayed, the Admiralty itself was riddled with graft and treachery. Charles I and Charles II maintained a continual interest in the Navy and in the seamen's conditions; under the Commonwealth, there was massive impressment but nothing for the victims because of Cromwell's misappropriation of Naval monies. Amazingly, the spirit the Navy, although it weakened, never died, and in Charles I and Charles II found its greatest champions.
Evelyn Berckman has harvested much unforgettable material from the State Papers jn this remarkable panorama of Naval history We see Elizabeth on the eve of the Spanish Armada and hear Francis Drake: 'Stop them now, and stop them ever.' We witness the rise of James's favourite Buckingham, and the launching of Charles I's great ship, Sovereign of the Seas. Turkish pirates land at Monts Bay and carry off sixty men, women and children, and the Dutch fleet sails up the Medway to devastate Chatham and Rochester. The House of Commons is in uproar over the hated Ship Money, and Prince Rupert of the Rhine leads his guerilla fleet on raiding parties. In the background, men like John Milton and Samuel Pepys work away. And, always, there is the ordinary sailor, exposed to danger, appalling conditions, plague, contempt." from the dj.
1. The Source; 2. Elizabeth I : Creator; 3. James I : Destroyer; 4. Charles I : Creator; 5. Cromwell : Destroyer; 6. Charles II : Creator. With index.
Very good in price-clipped dustjacket, clean and solid. 50.00