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.
The Gathering Storm
The Naval War in Northern Europe: September 1939–April 1940
From the fall of Poland in September 1939, to the invasion of Norway in April 1940, the Norwegian historian Geirr Haarr describes fierce naval struggles, including the sinking of Courageous, the German mining of the British East Coast and the Altmark incident. In this meticulously detailed study, Haarr shows that there was no ‘phoney war’ at sea in those early months of the Second World War.
Ships and Shipbuilders
Pioneers of Design and Construction
From Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BCE) to Ben Lexcen (1936-1988), inventor of the famous winged keel which helped Australia II win the 1983 America's Cup, this volume describes the achievements of the most important designers, engineers, naval architects and shipwrights in the history of ship design and construction.
Hitler's Gateway to the Atlantic
German Naval Bases in France 1940–1945
Access to the Atlantic was a coveted prize in the conquest of France and the Kriegsmarine quickly established naval bases at Brest, Lorient, St Nazaire, La Pallice and Bordeaux. This study examines how fortified U-boat bunkers and other facilities were constructed by the Todt Organization, assesses the level of French support in converting existing ports and describes the British campaign to thwart naval operations with aerial bombing and maritime attacks. Translated from the German by Geoffrey Brooks.
Passage to the World
The Emigrant Experience 1807–1940
From the early 19th century, millions of people crossed the seas to escape war, famine or poverty, or were taken against their will as slaves, convicts or indentured labourers. Drawing on original sources and first-hand accounts, this book examines the transition from one life to another: the decision to emigrate, the journey to the port, the perils of the voyage, and the emigrants' reception in the Americas or Australasia.
The English Assault on the New World, 1497–1630
English colonizing efforts in North America were painfully unsuccessful in comparison with Spain's empire-building further south. Investigating the reasons for England's slow progress, Childs uses primary sources to examine vessels and voyages from Cabot's Matthew in 1497 to Winthrop's fleet in 1630; the unrealistic ambitions of promoters like Ralegh; the nature of the conflict with Native Americans; and the lack of leadership and co-operation that doomed English attempts to settle on the American coast to failure.
Caricature and the Navy 1756–1815
From the mid 18th century to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy was the nation's greatest expense and biggest employer. The ensuing public interest made household names of its commanders and established the 'Jack Tar' as an ideal of no-nonsense British pluck. This book explores the period through the lens of contemporary caricaturists such as Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank; its selection of satirical and sometimes bawdy prints is drawn from the National Maritime Museum collection.
Cross Channel and Short Sea Ferries
An Illustrated History
Before the advent of the car ferry, Britain served passengers on the short crossings to the Continent and Ireland with a fleet of small ferries or scaled-down liners. This history, featuring more than 300 photos, describes the success of these vessels, which proliferated on British coastal routes and spread to other parts of the world from the early 19th century, and examines how the designs evolved from paddle steamers to screw-driven craft and finally diesel-powered ships by the early 20th century.
Giants of the Seas
The Ships that Transformed Modern Cruising
When Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas was launched in 1988 it was the largest passenger ship to be built for more than 40 years, but it signalled a new era in the cruise business and has inspired the construction of dozens of ever more spectacular vessels. This book celebrates this new golden age of cruising by examining 40 modern ships – from floating resorts accommodating thousands of holidaymakers to purpose-built polar and river cruisers.
Godfather to British Naval Aviation
Frank McClean's inherited wealth allowed him to indulge his passion for flying in the early years of the 20th century, and his provision of training planes and a site for a Royal Navy flying school were crucial in establishing a British military aviation capability before the First World War. This illustrated biography examines McClean's influence as well as his own pioneering exploits, which included a headline-grabbing flight up the Thames, passing under the bridges, and an expedition up the Nile.
The Real Jim Hawkins
Ships' Boys in the Georgian Navy
In the 18th century, poor boys in their thousands went to sea like Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, often leaving behind bleak and miserable lives to go in search of adventure. Focusing on the Royal Navy during the period of the Seven Years War, Pietsch investigates the boys' social backgrounds and recruitment, their distinctive subculture and the challenges they faced growing up amid the perils of naval battle.
Ready for Anything
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary 1905–1950
The civilian-manned Royal Fleet Auxiliary (its unofficial motto: 'Ready For Anything') provides worldwide support to the Royal Navy. This history discusses its rising importance, from inception in 1905, through two world wars, to 1950. The book features many little-known military operations, plus archive photographs and personal accounts of life in the auxiliary. Tables contain data on vessels that served in the fleet, while appendices include such information as colour schemes, battle honours and a detailed chronology.
Poxed and Scurvied
The Story of Sickness and Health at Sea
As sailors began to explore the world in the 15th century, using new designs of sailing ship which enabled long transatlantic voyages, the difficulties of keeping healthy aboard ship became acute. Brown discusses the Royal Navy's efforts to deal with the problem, which led the way in the improvement of diet, hygiene and shipboard medical provision. He also shows how concern for the fitness of seamen brought about public health measures aganst drunkenness and the pox.
A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy
The 20th century was a time of unprecedented change and action for the Royal Navy. The service's senior officers during this period included celebrated figures such as Jackie Fisher and Louis Mountbatten, and hundreds more whose names are not so well remembered. This reference work contains nearly 1,500 pages of biographical accounts of more than 300 admirals, in PDF format on a CD-Rom. The accompanying book provides background information on terminology, rank structure and career progression in the Navy.