Empire of the Seas
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In 1677 it became a requirement that officers in the British Navy serve an apprenticeship at sea and pass a seamanship exam before receiving a commission. This radical innovation, instigated by Samuel Pepys, was instrumental in creating the professional force that was to advance Britain's fortunes and do much to shape the modern world. Brian Lavery's illustrated history, published to accompany the TV series, traces the development of the Navy from the Armada to the First World War.