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The book takes us from the origins of the figurehead in the days of Henry VIII to the ending of this practice with the advance of the steam navy in the early 20th century. After looking at examples from the 16th-18th centuries, David also takes us in detail to the 19th century with specific examples of figureheads. Quite apart from the content of the book, the Figurehead Directory consists of 31 pages listing alphabetically all the approximately 200 examples of Royal Navy ship’s figureheads. The illustrations are, of course, the heart of this book and its raison d’etre. This book has become the standard reference for anyone who might need information on Royal Navy figureheads. A detailed bibliography setting out the sources is also included together with a comprehensive index.

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