From the dust jacket. John Arbuthnot Fisher, First Baron Fisher of Kilverstone in Norfolk, was a man of deep passions, strong beliefs and limitless ambition and patriotism. He was brave, impetuous, impatient; brusque and even vindictive with his opponents and with those who failed to match up to the standards he set for himself - and that meant total loyalty to the Fisher creed, itself an uneasy blend of selflessness and self-aggrandizement. He adored all beautiful women; better still if they were intelligent, best of all if they were witty, well informed and willing to dance the night through.
Women loved him in return, for his vigor and decisiveness and charm. He could also electrify a committee of hard bitten politicians, and renew the batteries of a minister as young and vibrant as Winston Churchill, or as old as Lord Salisbury.
In an age when the grip of patronage and privilege was still exclusive and tenacious, Fisher brashly fought his way through to become at the age of sixty three the controller of the most powerful single force of destruction in the world, and on familiar terms with the influential at home and the crowned heads of Europe.
In these words Richard Hough, whose maritime writing is known alike to readers of The New Yorker in America and to serious students of naval history in Britain, opens his Preface to the first full length study, for which all the family and official records have been made available, of the Royal Navy's greatest figure of recent times.
It is fitting that this important, revealing, and often deeply moving biography should appear shortly before the fiftieth anniversary of Fisher's death, and at a time when, once again, the protective power of Britain's Navy is being fatally threatened.