The Terror of the Seas? (History of Warfare) – ( 2010 )
This important new book provides the first detailed and clear analysis of the Scots involvement in naval warfare during the early modern period. The lazy use by both contemporaries and some modern authors of the word ‘piracy’ as a catch-all for all sorts of maritime activity obscures a complex picture of Scottish maritime warfare. Through the use of letters of marque and reprisal (rightly distinguished in this analysis) as well as dedicated Crown fleets, Scottish warfare against against a wide range of enemies are scrutinised.
This is an impressive book that makes and important contribution to our knowledge of European naval warfare. Its formidably broad range of sources sheds light on many previously little known, or unknown, aspects of naval history. It also provides many valuable new perspectives on the importance of the sea to the Scots, and of the Scots to the naval history of the British Isles.