Chatham, 1st.ed., 1997. 128 pp., profusely illustrated with plans & cutaway drawings (incl. fldg. plan in rear pocket). D.j., 30 x 25cm. FINE. By the end of the sailing era the 50-gun ship had come to be regarded as a hybrid ' too small to take its place in the line of battle and lacking speed and handiness of a frigate - a dinosaur left over from an earlier age. This view is challenged by the author who reveals the crucial role of the 50-gun ship in the development of both the battleship and the frigate, explaining its survival into the 19th century. Its story is traced through the 18th century and its heyday during the American Revolutionary War, its role as peacetime flagships on distant stations, and its final glory leading anti-invasion operations during the Napoleonic Wars. Features of the book include a complete history of the 50-gun ship based on the latest research ; numerous informative tables ; original draughts and other illustrations ; and large scale plans of the LEOPARD of 1790. FINE copy.