1st.ed., 1998. 256 pp., 11 photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Professor Sir John Knox Laughton made a major contribution to naval history between the years 1875 and 1915. He was a founder member of the Navy Records Society, corresponded with other major naval historians of his day including Bridge, Clowes, Corbett, Custance, Phipps Hornby, Noel, Richmond, Napier Robinson and across the Atlantic, Mahan. Born in Liverpool in 1830, his father was once a privateer commander and the Mersey port bred the sea into John's blood. After Cambridge, and a short spell in the commercial bustle of Liverpool, Laughton entered the Royal Navy as an Instructor in 1853 and served afloat during the Crimean War and during the Second China War where his courage under fire was remarked upon. On leaving the Navy he turned his attention to its history and was largely responsible for having the subject taken seriously in British Universities and Naval Colleges, as well as encouraging the study and development of naval tactics, doctrine and strategic thought both afloat and ashore. Dr. Lambert examines the development of naval history from what was little more than 'romantic fiction' to respectable modern scholarship as seen through Laughton's career, as it was he who created the discipline as the basis for naval education and strategic and tactical studies. FINE copy.