The focus of the book is more on the campaigns that the ships took part in, and the men who sailed on them than the ships themselves (not that this topic is neglected), so the two Victorian Revenges, neither of which took part in a major war, only merit a small chapter between them. In contrast the Elizabethan Revenge, which took part in the fight against the Spanish Armada, before being lost after one of the most famous defeats in British naval history, when Sir Richard Grenville look on a Spanish fleet, gets three chapters, and the super-dreadnaught HMS Revenge, which fought at Jutland and during the Second World War gets three and a half.
The HMS Revenge of the Napoleonic Wars is also well covered, as are the ships of the Anglo-Dutch Wars. The book would have benefited from a list of the ships involved which would have been especially useful for the seventeenth century, a period that saw many ships change names, and in which at one point Stilwell is following the careers of two different ships at the same time.
This is a largely successful approach that avoids giving too much space to ships that didn't have particularly interesting careers, while allowing Stilwell to give a wider view of events than if he had focused too tightly on the individual Revenges. A significant amount of space is given to the evolution of the warship, looking at why Drake's Revenge and her sister ships were so effective, and what made the super-dreadnaughts first so powerful and then so vulnerable to air attack.
1 Scene - A Ship at Sea: an Island
2 The Spanish Tragedy
3 At Flores, in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville Lay
4 Prince Rupert
5 The Navy of Pepys
6 Guarding the Channel
7 Keeping the French at Bay
10 Basque Roads
11 From Portugal to the Adriatic
12 Dawn of a New Age
14 Between the Wars
15 The Second World War
16 Nuclear Option
Author: Alexander Stilwell
Publisher: Pen & Sword Marine