The Wager Disaster
Mayhem, Mutiny and Murder in the South Seas
In 1741, with Britain at war with Spain, HMS Wager was wrecked on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile. Drawing on survivors’ accounts, this book tells the story of the men who mutinied and sailed 2,500 miles in an open boat to safety in Brazil.
Sailors on the Rocks
Famous Royal Navy Shipwrecks
Peter C Smith investigates the circumstances in which 15 naval vessels have been driven ashore or lost on the coast, from the Coronation, destroyed by a gale in 1671, to the frigate Nottingham, which ran aground off Australia in 2002 despite its electronic navigation aids.
A boom in leisure cruising has seen many new large passenger ships and smaller 'expedition' ships built in recent years, while in response to the drive for cheaper cargo shipping, container vessels have got bigger, some approaching 400m in length, and are designed for slower running with more efficient engines. The 17th edition of this standard reference work, now with over 200 colour reference photographs, provides comprehensive and authoritative information on all the world's ocean-going passenger and cargo ships.
From Cabin 'Boys' to Captains
250 Years of Women at Sea
For centuries the sea was considered a male preserve. Using interviews and unpublished sources, this book traces the lives of women seafarers, from 18th century pirates such as Anne Bonney, and girls disguised as cabin boys, to the cruise-liner and container-ship captains of today.
British Privateering Voyages of the Early Eighteenth Century
Tim Beattie tells the stories of three privateering expeditions that made a significant impact on politics, trade and literature: the voyages of William Dampier in 1703, Woodes Rogers in 1708–11, and John Clipperton and George Shelvocke’s voyages in Speedwell between 1719 and 1722.
The Ships that Shaped the World
Designer John Willis Griffiths’s conclusion that a sailing ship built for speed required ‘a sharp flared hollow and concave bow’ and a stern designed for ‘minimal drag’, revolutionized shipping well into the 20th century. This erudite history of the clipper, the fastest of all merchant sailing ships, considers different designs, including Yankee, Australian and tea clippers, as well as their cargoes and trade routes, with a focus on the treacherous seas around Cape Horn.
The Untold Story
During the Battle of Crete in 1941, HMS Gloucester was attacked by dive bombers and sunk; 83 of the 810 crew were rescued by German vessels the following day. Including first-hand accounts from survivors, this volume tells the ship’s story from its launch in 1937, investigating in particular the controversial circumstances of its sinking and the failure of any British ship to search for survivors.
A New History of Yachting
A few English aristocrats had pleasure yachts from as early as the mid 17th century and the hobby grew considerably in the following centuries, despite remaining the preserve of the wealthy. This history charts the evolution of yachting through the golden age before the First World War and into the era of affordable dinghies, plastic moulded hulls, and the record-breaking voyages of single-handed ocean sailors in recent decades.
Off the Deep End
A History of Madness at Sea
As well as isolation, cramped conditions and alcoholism, there are many reasons why madness is ‘seven times more likely’ at sea. In this survey of maritime distemper, Nic Compton documents numerous cases of mental illness on board ships, yachts and lifeboats, many of which led to suicide and occasionally cannibalism. Particularly poignant is the story of Donald Crowhurst, the singlehanded sailor who, becoming delusional, faked his position in a 1968 round-the-world race, only to jump overboard to his death.
Charts of War
The Maps and Charts That Have Informed and Illustrated War at Sea
Information is power, and sea charts, with their details of harbour approaches, coastal hazards, tides and currents, have often been closely guarded secrets. Handsomely illustrated with historic maps drawn from maritime archives around the world, this large-format book explains how sea charts developed in response to changing military techniques and technology. Informative captions set the charts in context, and describe their function in planning, preventing, conducting and recording war at sea, from Francis Drake to the D-Day landings.
and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic
Proprietor of the New York Herald, James Gordon Bennett Jr was famous for being eccentric, impetuous and wealthy, qualities that resulted in a $30,000 bet and the first transatlantic yacht race. With a cast of New York socialites, oddballs and adventurers, this book tells the story of the record-breaking race through the voyage of Bennett’s winning vessel, the Henrietta, which left New York in high winds in midwinter 1866.
Scotland's Cruel Sea
Heroism and Disaster off the Scottish Coast
A terrible gale off the Orkneys smashed HMS Hampshire's lifeboats after the ship had struck a mine in 1916. Lord Kitchener was among the hundreds of lives lost. The unforgiving waters around Scotland provide the scene for over a dozen more tales of maritime catastrophe in this book, including the loss of the Hood in 1941 and the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster of 1988.
The Ships of Ellis Island
The manifests of Ellis Island record a total of 818 ships bringing new citizens to America between 1892, when the facility was opened, and 1924, when immigration quotas were much reduced. Through contemporary photographs and promotional posters, this book profiles 100 of the most interesting, from large and famous liners such as the Lusitania and the Olympic to the many more modest vessels that offered the life-changing transatlantic voyage from ports all over Europe.
A Dangerous Occupation
A Story of Paddle Minesweepers in the First World War
Paddle steamer pleasure boats of P&A Campbell's White Funnel Fleet were hired by the Admiralty in 1914 to act as minesweepers, and were manned by naval personnel. This illustrated analysis explores the work of these vessels in the North Sea and around the British coast.
The Savage Shore
Extraordinary Stories of Survival and Tragedy from the Early Voyages of Discovery
Several months after the Dutch yacht Gilt Dragon set sail for the East Indies, it foundered off the coast of ‘Southland’. The ship broke up, but 73 survivors made it ashore, a few of whom would sail 2,500 miles in a shuyt to fetch help. This was 1653, over a century before Cook’s ‘discovery’ of Australia. These maritime tales present many of the early and often fabled encounters with Australia, its perilous coastline and indigenous population.
Outlaws of the Atlantic
Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail
Rather than the masters and commanders, Marcus Rediker's history takes a bottom-up approach, looking at the maritime history of the Atlantic from the viewpoint of sailors, slaves, indentured servants, pirates, smugglers and rebels. In the 'age of wooden ships and iron men' he shows how Jack Tar, as sailors were commonly known, influenced the wider histories of political thought, literature and commerce, and how revolutionary ideas were generated among the motley (or multi-ethnic) crews of the Atlantic.
During the 19th century, it became quite common for women to go sea with their merchant seamen husbands, but rarely did they write books about the experience. Between 1829 and 1831, Abby Jane Morrell accompanied her husband Benjamin on an adventurous voyage that took them from New England to the South Pacific. This is her very accomplished account of that journey aboard the schooner Antarctic.
The Memoirs of Robert Hay
Robert Hay (1789–1847) joined the Royal Navy when he was 14 years old and served on the lower decks as a ‘shoe boy’ during the French wars. After one attempt to desert, he was posted to the East Indies, where he was badly wounded; the next time he got home to Scotland without falling foul of the press gang. Written in 1820, his memoir is a vivid account of naval life – and a wonderful yarn. Edited and introduced by Vincent McInerney.
On 25 August 1833, the chartered transport Amphitrite set sail from London, its 16 crew, 100 female prisoners and their children bound for an Australian convict colony. Days later, and before a crowd of helpless onlookers, the ship would break up off Boulogne, drowning all but three on board. This erudite account of the tragedy also examines the Admiralty’s investigation of the captain who, inexplicably, refused help offered from the shore.
The First Circumnavigators
Unsung Heroes of the Age of Discovery
When Ferdinand Magellan set sail in 1519 to claim the Spice Islands for the King of Spain, his fleet included an international crew of family, friends, mariners, men-at-arms and slaves. Returning to Spain years later, three dozen of them had circumnavigated the globe, probably by accident. This book tells the story of the men accompanying Magellan and other illustrious expedition leaders on their voyages of discovery, and includes route maps and short biographies. Slightly off-mint.
Early Ships and Seafaring
Water Transport Beyond Europe
Complementing the author’s earlier work on ancient European water transport, this volume presents the evidence for early hand-built rafts and boats in the rest of the world, from Egypt to the Americas. It combines the insights of ethnographical research with the analysis of excavated vessels and contemporary written accounts, to give a comprehensive picture of our knowledge about ancient seafaring and the techniques and materials that were used to construct the different types of craft.
We Die Like Brothers
The Sinking of the SS Mendi
On a foggy morning in 1917, a large British mail ship travelling dangerously fast off the Isle of Wight collided with SS Mendi, a steamship carrying more than 600 members of the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLAC). The Mendi sank in 20 minutes, leaving few survivors. Drawing on recent archeological evidence from the wreck, the book reconsiders this terrible tragedy and tells the story of the SANLAC in the British war effort.
Ship of Death
A Voyage That Changed the Atlantic World
In the 1790s, a small British ship, the Hankey, set sail on a mission to establish a colony free from slavery. Drawing on archives from several continents, this book tells the little-known story of how an altruistic project had disastrous consequences that changed the course of history: the ship brought yellow fever to the Americas, causing tens of thousands of deaths, assisting the revolution in Haiti and prompting Napoleon to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States.
The South China Sea
The Struggle for Power in Asia
‘A fulcrum of world trade and a crucible of conflict’, the South China Sea, its shipping lanes and the ownership of its many island groups are matters of global concern. Bill Hayton, a journalist with long experience in Asia, gives a detailed account of the region’s complex history, from the earliest human migrations to the depletion of fish stocks today and problems of sovereignty and territory, which remain insoluble while China refuses to deal with these issues on a multilateral basis.
A Rich and Curious History of Pirates, Castaways and Madness
Daniel Defoe's famous castaway has been etched into the popular imagination for three centuries – but what of his island? This book identifies the real place – Juan Fernández Island in the South Pacific – and charts its colourful and often violent history. Drawing on voyage journals, maps and illustrations, Andrew Lambert brings to life the voices of visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists from the early encounters of the 1500s to the naval battles of the First World War.
The Shipwreck Cannibals
Captain John Deane and the Boon Island Flesh Eating Scandal
In August 1710, the Nottingham Galley was wrecked off the New England coast. By ordering his crew to eat their dead shipmates, its captain ensured that ten of them survived. But was he a hero or a bloodthirsty cannibal?
Ships to Remember
1400 Years of Historic Ships
The world’s largest passenger ship when it was launched in 1906, and holder of the Blue Riband transatlantic speed record, the Lusitania was already notable before it was sunk by a U-boat in 1915. Other less grand vessels, including the lifeboats in which Captain Bligh and Ernest Shackleton made spectacular voyages, are also included in this collection of maritime stories, and illustrated with maps and drawings and paintings by Austin Dwyer.
Ancestors in the Arctic
A Photographic History of Dundee Whaling
Drawn from the collections of Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, this volume of early photographs shows the sailing ships and the highly skilled crews of the Dundee whaling industry, often set against the dramatic ice seas and landscapes of the Arctic. Offering insights into an almost forgotten aspect of Dundee’s history, the book demonstrates the importance of whaling for the city between the mid 18th century and the First World War.
Shipwreck Of The Whaleship Essex
The inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick, a sperm whale rammed and sank the whaling ship Essex in 1820, casting its crew into open boats for a three-month ordeal during which they resorted to cannibalism to sustain themselves. This book includes first mate Owen Chase's account, the testimony of two other survivors and facsimiles of notes made by Melville on Chase's story. (Contains material previously published in The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex.)
A Brief History of Fighting Ships
This illustrated introduction to Napoleonic naval history describes the ships that fought at sea, providing details of their construction and armaments; accounts of daily life on board and the problems faced by commanders; and an outline of the battles in which they took part.
Aspects of Devon History (Off-Mint)
People, Places and Landscapes
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Devon History Society, this volume brings together 30 essays on a wide range of topics: places such as the medieval landscape of Branscombe and the parish of Parkham in 1841; miscellaneous subjects including fishing, farming, water supply and the coming of electricity; and people from the Saxon thane Ordulf in Tavistock to Dame Georgiana Buller, the only child of Sir Redvers Buller, and her work for disabled people in 20th-century Devon. Off-mint.
Face to Face
Battling the elements at sea is as stern a test of character as any, and resilience and resolve can be read on the faces of many of the 100 'ocean portraits' chosen for this collection. Including a foreword by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and essays about maritime photography, the book includes images drawn from historic museum collections and the work of contemporary photographers' and features notable seafarers from 19th-century skippers to champion surfers, Jacques Cousteau to Ben Ainslie.
Governing the Sea in the Early Modern Era
Essays in Honor of Robert C Ritchie
The global expansion of the early modern European empires challenged their old, land-based systems of defending borders and trade. Now there were issues such as rights to fishing waters and smuggling. This volume of eleven essays sets out to examine how successfully early modern rulers dealt with problems of watery borders, rampant piracy, trade in far-flung colonies, and the slave trade.