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National Observer Home > No. 59 - Summer 2004 > Book Reviews

Book Review: the Global Reach of Empire by Alan Frost

by Professor Alan Frost

Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press (Melbourne University Publishing), 2003, pages 368 and index, $59.95.

Professor Frost holds a Personal Chair in History at La Trobe University, Melbourne. His book is a study of British maritime and imperial expansion, especially in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in the period 1740-1815. This periodwas critical in the development of the British Empire, in terms of both exploration and of the annexation of territories large and small. The exploration and settlement of Australia formed merely a part of activities with a far wider range.

The Global Reach of Empire provides a clear general picture of the competition between England on the one hand and France, Spain and the Netherlands on the other. It is the product of considerable research, with many details of the size and number of ships and of voyages of exploration and engagements.

This book is clearly written and will be useful to general readers who are interested in the history of this period, especially in relation to Australia. It is very handsomely produced: The Miegunyah Press has been especially set up to publish in a high-quality format. Indeed, the technical quality of the book is such that it challenges the better English and American publishers.

I.C.F. Spry


National Observer No. 59 - Summer 2004