chapter  4
29 Pages

Corbett and the emergence of a British school?

At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginnings of the twentieth, there was a real explosion of British interest in maritime matters. As a result, there emerged a large group of naval thinkers, many of whom were indeed naval; their ideas developed just about enough internal coherence for them to be considered a ‘school’. This did not mean that they all agreed with one another about everything, for they did not, but their differences were generally matters of degree and emphasis. They were a school rather in the sense that the Pre-Raphaelites 50 years before them were a brotherhood – united in general, disputatious in the particular but rather more enduring. After a short period of intense artistic co-inspiration the Pre-Raphaelites drifted apart ‘to do their own thing’; the British maritime school, however, surged on, remaining ‘the pens behind the fleet’.