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'We are fish' observed Lord Salisbury of Britain's global interests at the height of the 19th century pax Britannica. Yet the relationship between the sea and Britain's empire during the Victorian era has rarely been treated in a single volume. The essays in this book do just that. Through a series of case-studies these cutting edge contributions survey the work of the Royal Navy as the policeman of imperial interests: combating piracy and the slave trade. In examining the battle for technological supremacy at sea, the role of the large shipping companies in emigration and migration, and the shipping of British culture overseas via the circulation of knowledge and artefacts, this volume gives an insight into the Victorians' understanding of their own destiny as a sea-faring island.