Great Harry's Navy - How Henry VIII Gave England Sea Power by Geoffrey Moorhouse Phoenix, HK$160 Authors sail into the crowded waters of English maritime history sometimes at their peril, so much having been written of late about the sea and ships, much of it to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar last year. Geoffrey Moorhouse, who has a passion for the period of Henry VIII, was among those who steered clear of the anniversary chop to sail towards different objectives. Great Harry's Navy is a fascinating account of the monarch's naval aspirations, which mostly had to do with keeping up with the Jameses (James IV of Scotland had the Great Michael in 1511, which spurred Henry to launch Henry Grace a Dieu in 1514, a warship that drew so much water it could not use Dover harbour). Henry VIII's reign was not one of great exploration - the English lacked the navigational confidence of the Mediterranean kingdoms. But all paled when compared with the Chinese voyages of the time. N.A.M. Rodger of Exeter University calls this 'a rich fruitcake of a story, laden with plums', but 'hard to digest'. Moorhouse nonetheless navigates a fascinating course.