The Anatomy of Nelson’s Ships


The naval archives containing records of Horatio Nelson’s ships were researched in detail by Dr. Longridge to produce this classic book. His expert text is supported by 271 detailed line drawings, rare photographs and unique fold-out plans showing hull framing, interior construction, complex rigging and deck layouts. Anyone interested in ships, naval architecture or ship modelling will find this book invaluable.

ISBN: 978 185486 122 1
Author: C Nepean Longridge



Nelson’s history has been written from every possible angle, but this is not so with his ships. Such information as there is about the ships is buried in contemporary books on naval architecture; only the expert can sift it and present it in a usable form. In doing this, Dr. Longridge’s 1955 work quickly became a veritable treasure trove for the naval historian and ship modeler. H.M.S. Victory is the supreme example of the ships of the period, and fortunately she is still in existence. The original draughts of 1765 have been preserved, as have also the drawings used in the restoration of the ship in 1922. The author was thus able to compile from authentic sources and his model of the Victory now occupies a prominent position in the Science Museum at South Kensington.

The illustrations are a unique feature. They include a set of photographs showing the interior construction of H.M.S. Victory and H.M.S. Implacable, the latter being taken only a few days before she was scuttled.

The book features over 180 line drawings, designed by E. Bowness, A.R.I.N.A., and executed by G.F. Campbell, Assoc. M.R.I.N.A., ranging from elaborate perspective drawings of the complex gear at the fore top and crosstrees to the simplest detail. The folding plates by G.F. Campbell (which measure 560 x 400 mm and 235 x 450 mm) include lines, inboard and outboard profile, deck plans of the hull, standing and running rigging plans, and a complete belaying pin plan. Such an analysis of the ship of this period had never before been attempted.

Contents: Preface; Part One – The Hull; Construction of Ships of the Period; Framing of the Model; Planking and Coppering; Decks and Other Details; Head and Stern; Upper Deck; Guns and Deck Details; Quarter Deck; Other Hull Details; Assembly; Part Two – The Rigging; Masts and Spars; Rigging; Standing Rigging; Running Rigging.

Originally published in 1955 by Percival Marshall & Co.
Fourteen Impressions 1961-1999 by Model & Allied Publications, Argus Books and Nexus Special Interests.
Special Interest Model Books edition published in 2004

239 x 178 mm
327 pages
50 black and white photographs
183 line drawings
12 fold-out scale plans
Jacketed Hardback