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In his bestselling book 1421:The Year China Discovered the World, Gavin Menzies revealed that it was the Chinese that discovered America, not Columbus. Now he presents further astonishing evidence that it was also Chinese advances in science, art, and technology that formed the basis of the European Renaissance and our modern world. In his bestselling book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, Gavin Menzies presented controversial and compelling evidence that Chinese fleets beat Columbus, Cook and Magellan to the New World. But his research has led him to astonishing new discoveries that Chinese influence on Western culture didn't stop there. Until now, scholars have considered that the Italian Renaissance - the basis of our modern Western world - came about as a result of a re-examining the ideas of classical Greece and Rome. A stunning reappraisal of history is about to be published. Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that a sophisticated Chinese delegation visited Italy in 1434, sparked the Renaissance, and forever changed the course of Western civilization. After that date the authority of Aristotle and Ptolemy was overturned and artistic conventions challenged, as was Arabic astronomy and cartography. Florence and Venice of the 15th century attracted traders from across the world. Menzies presents astonishing evidence that a large Chinese fleet, official ambassadors of the Emperor, arrived in Tuscany in 1434 where they met with Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. A mass of information was given by the Chinese delegation to the Pope and his entourage - concerning world maps (which Menzies argues were later given to Columbus), astronomy, mathematics, art, printing, architecture, steel manufacture, civil engineering, military machines, surveying, cartography, genetics, and more. It was this gift of knowledge that sparked the inventiveness of the Renaissance - Da Vinci's inventions, the Copernican revolution, Galileo, etc. Following 1434, Europeans embraced Chinese intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions, which formed the basis of European civilization just as much as Greek thought and Roman law. In short, China provided the spark that set the Renaissance ablaze.
'A thrilling celebration of lighthouses' i newspaper An enthralling history of Britain's rock lighthouses, and the people who built and inhabited them Lighthouses are enduring monuments to our relationship with the sea. They encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose was much more noble, conceived as navigational gifts for the safety of all. Still today, we depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland: twenty towers built between 1811 and 1904, so-called because they were constructed on desolate, slippery rock formations in the middle of the sea, rising, mirage-like, straight out of the waves, with lights shining at the their summits. Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these magnificent, isolated sentinels, the ingenuity of those who conceived them, the people who risked their lives building and rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.
The worst storm in history seem from the wheelhouse of a doomed fishing trawler; a mesmerisingly vivid account of a natural hell from a perspective that offers no escape. The `perfect storm' is a once-in-a-hundred-years combination: a high pressure system from the Great Lakes, running into storm winds over an Atlantic island - Sable Island - and colliding with a weather system from the Caribbean: Hurricane Grace. This is the story of that storm, told through the accounts of individual fishing boats caught up in the maelstrom, their families waiting anxiously for news of their return, the rescue services scrambled to save them. It is the story of the old battle between the fisherman and the sea, between man and Nature, but here Nature is an awesome and capricious power that transforms the surface of the Atlantic into an impossible tumult of water walls and gaping voids, with the capacity to break an oil tanker in two, let alone the 72ft swordfishing boat Andrea Gail with her crew of eight. A typical Hurricane encompasses a million cubic miles of atmosphere and can contain enough energy to, in theory, meet the electric power needs of the UK for a decade. Except that a hurricane will not be controlled. In spare, lyrical prose `The Perfect Storm' describes what happened when the Andrea Gail looked into the wrathful face of the perfect storm.
The first of Graham Faiella's thrilling collections of tales focuses on stories of cannibals (both indigenous peoples and desperate crews stranded at sea) and carnage. Recounting the true-life adventures and misfortunes of mariners in the 19th and early 20th centuries, these are stories of courage and infamy, and often awful deaths in remote places where social norms were battered and, ultimately, shattered. These were human dramas, and lives lived on the edge. Be thankful for your safe passage.
Over seventy merchant ships sailed in the Task force sent by Britain to recapture the Falkland islands in 1982. Some were Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, but the majority were STUFT-ships taken up from trade-and the officers and crew of these merchant vessels, all volunteers, suddenly found themselves thrust into a war zone in the South Atlantic. Remarkably little has been written about the part played by the Merchant navy, summarised by the official history of the campaign as 'an impenetrable mystery, girt about by seasickness' This book lifts the curtain on that mystery, to reveal something of the experiences of the merchant seamen and women who made possible the retaking of the Falkland islands. John Johnson-Allen, maritime historian and former merchant naval officer, combines personal accounts, documents and comment to bring to life the events of the Falklands War, as seen from the merchant ships that played such a vital role in that conflict.
Marking the centenary of the Titanic disaster, `Titanic Lives' is a fresh investigation of the lives of the passengers and crew on board the most famous ship in history. On the night of 14 April 1912, midway through her maiden voyage, the seemingly unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg, sustaining a 300-feet gash as six compartments were wrenched open to the Atlantic Ocean. In little over two hours, the palatial liner nose-dived to the bottom of the sea. More than 1,500 people perished in the freezing waters. But who were they? In this impeccably researched and utterly riveting social history, Richard Davenport-Hines brings to life the stories of the men who built and owned the Titanic, the crew who serviced her and the passengers of all classes who sailed on her. We are introduced to this fascinating cast of characters and follow their lives on board the ship through to the supreme dramatic climax of the disaster. Universally critically acclaimed, `Titanic Lives' is the must-read Titanic book of the centenary year.
In this innovative legal history of economic life in the Western Indian Ocean, Bishara examines the transformations of Islamic law and Islamicate commercial practices during the emergence of modern capitalism in the region. In this time of expanding commercial activity, a melange of Arab, Indian, Swahili and Baloch merchants, planters, jurists, judges, soldiers and seamen forged the frontiers of a shared world. The interlinked worlds of trade and politics that these actors created, the shared commercial grammars and institutions that they developed and the spatial and socio-economic mobilities they engaged in endured until at least the middle of the twentieth century. This major study examines the Indian Ocean from Oman to India and East Africa over an extended period of time, drawing together the histories of commerce, law and empire in a sophisticated, original and richly textured history of capitalism in the Islamic world.
'There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.' - Phillip Franklin, White Star Line Vice-President On April 15th, 1912, Titanic, the world's largest passenger ship, sank after colliding with an iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives. Walter Lord's classic bestselling history of the voyage, the wreck and the aftermath is a tour de force of detailed investigation and the upstairs/downstairs divide. A Night to Remember provides a vivid, gripping and deeply personal account of the 'unsinkable' Titanic's descent. WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY JULIAN FELLOWES
The second of Graham Faiella's thrilling collections of tales gathers stories of mutiny, misery and menace. Recounting the true-life adventures and misfortunes of mariners in the 19th and early 20th centuries, these are human stories of misery and hardship, personal conflicts, tensions and often dreadful deaths. These stories will make it abundantly clear how hard life was for mariners throughout history.
Half a century ago, a global shipping revolution was underway as traditional labour-intensive and time-consuming methods of handling cargo were replaced by containerisation and the parallel development of roll-on, roll-off methods. On the North Sea, long-established shipping companies were challenged by upstarts, embracing these new technologies. In 1966, Tor Line entered into an already crowded market in the trades between Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands. Benefiting from effective tonnage and imaginative management, the company gradually gained market share and, during the 1970s, commissioned some of the most advanced passenger and freight ferries yet seen.The book forms a companion volume to Bruce Peter's DFDS 150, published concurrently by Nautilus Forlag.
Amid the twists and turns of her survival to this day, the story of the light cruiser HMS Caroline spans a century and more. This book focuses on her early career, the role she played as just one of many components making up the Grand Fleet in time of war. We look at her routine participation in contraband control and, most dramatically, her appearance at the Battle of Jutland, when providence smiled upon her and guaranteed a safe emergence from that intense cauldron of explosion and fire. How does the life of a warship usually finish if it is not sunk in action? It can be the sad destiny of great warships to find themselves one day `surplus to requirements'. They might have performed gloriously in battle in defence of the realm. They might have made headlines by saving life where natural disaster strikes. Yet still the breaker's yard beckons. Most men-of-war become out of date, too costly to run, as their usefulness wanes. However, some ships find a last minute reprieve by being sold to foreign countries. And yet a very special few survive in home waters for future generations. Among these is HMS Caroline.
In "Grey Seas Under", Farley Mowat writes passionately of the courage of men and of a small, ocean-going salvage tug, Foundation Franklin. From 1930 until her final voyage in 1948, the stalwart tug's dangerous mission was to rescue sinking ships, first searching for them in perilous waters and then bringing them back to shore. Battered by towering waves, dwarfed by the great ships she towed, blasted by gale-force winds and frozen by squalls of snow and rain, Foundation Franklin and her brave crew saved hundreds of vessels and thousands of lives as they patrolled the North Atlantic, including waters patrolled by U-boats in wartime.
Mowat spent two years gathering this material and sailed on some of the missions he describes. The result is a modern epic -- a vigorous, dramatic picture of the eternal battle between men and the cruel sea.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina have had a lively and sometimes lurid history going back four centuries. These barrier islands, frequently battered by storms and hurricanes, were the site of the first English colony in North America and figured prominently in the Civil War. The hundreds of shipwrecks off their shores have earned the Outer Banks a reputation as the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic.' Rodney Barfield has assembled here more than 150 historic photographs and drawings, most of them never before published, to create a remarkable visual portrait of the Outer Banks' history and the people who lived it. Focusing especially on the nineteenth century but including some images from earlier and later periods, the book is a family album of life and work on the Banks. The photographs, accompanied by substantive captions and introductory text, document both well-known and obscure elements of the islands' past, including lighthouses, shipwrecks and rescue crews, fishing, whaling, porpoise hunting, boatbuilding, and home life. |French analyzes the effects of legislation in Brazil in 1943 that has been hailed as remarkably advanced social and labor legislation. He illustrates the glaring contrast between the generosity of the law's promises and what it actually delivered.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. An inventive biography of one of the most
famous ships of all time – an alluring combination of history,
adventure and science.
One of the greatest treasures in the archives of the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum is the Hansen Collection, consisting of over 4500 negatives of shipping taken at Cardiff Docks between 1920 and 1975. Lars Peter Hansen, a native of Copenhagen, settled in Cardiff in 1891 and he and his third son Leslie established a photographic business in the docks; taking pictures of ships for sale to seamen and shipowners was an important part of their business. Following the retirement of Leslie Hansen in 1975, the museum purchased the negative collection. Its historical value cannot be overstated and this album is intended as a tribute to the Hansens, who through their work have bequeathed to Wales a pictorial record of shipping activity at the nation's premier port.
This landmark book is published to coincide with a major exhibition marking the 250th anniversary of Cook's first voyage. A stunningly illustrated, object-centred history, this book offers a once in a generation opportunity to discover the uniquely rich Captain Cook collection of the British Library. The authors explore a series of themes including the navigation and charting of the Pacific; first encounters between Western and indigenous cultures; the representation of the voyages in art; and scientific discovery and the natural world. Themes of cultural encounter and scientific discovery are interwoven with the personal stories of the key protagonists, including James Cook and Joseph Banks. The illustrations include drawings by all the artists employed on the voyage, as well as the only surviving paintings by Tupaia, a Polynesian high priest who joined Cook's ship at Tahiti and sailed to New Zealand and Australia.
Crosbie Smith explores the trials and tribulations of first-generation Victorian mail steamship lines, their passengers, proprietors and the public. Eyewitness accounts show in rich detail how these enterprises engineered their ships, constructed empire-wide systems of steam navigation and won or lost public confidence in the process. Controlling recalcitrant elements within and around steamship systems, however, presented constant challenges to company managers as they attempted to build trust and confidence. Managers thus wrestled to control shipbuilding and marine engine-making, coal consumption, quality and supply, shipboard discipline, religious readings, relations with the Admiralty and government, anxious proprietors, and the media - especially following a disaster or accident. Emphasizing interconnections between maritime history, the history of engineering and Victorian culture, Smith's innovative history of early ocean steamships reveals the fraught uncertainties of Victorian life on the seas.
In the depths of Antarctic winter, hundreds of miles from land or rescue, a small fishing boat is swallowed by waves as high as houses.
The captain is fatally slow to act, and then paralyzed by fear. The officers flee for their lives. Only the actions of Matt Lewis, a 23-year-old British marine biologist and one of the most inexperienced men aboard, will save the lives of the South African crew.
Lewis is the last man off the sinking boat, and leads the escape onto three life rafts. There the battle for survival begins.
Maritime social history is a relatively young and fertile field, with many new research findings being discovered on a wide range of aspects of the subject. This book, together with its companion volume The Social History of English Seamen, 1485-1649 (The Boydell Press, 2011), pulls together and makes accessible this large body of research work. Subjects covered include life at sea in different parts of the period for both officers and seamen, in both the navy and in merchant ships; piracy and privateering; health, health care and disability; seamen's food; homosexuality afloat; and the role of women at sea and on land. Written by leading experts in their field, the volumes offer a nuanced portrait of seafarers' existence as well as an overview of the current state of the historiography. CHERYL A. FURY is Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick (Saint John campus) and a Fellow of the Gregg Centre for War and Society. Contributors: J.D. ALSOP, JOHN APPLEBY, JEREMY BLACK, B. R. BURG, BERNARD CAPP, PETER EARLE, CHERYL A. FURY, MARGARETTE LINCOLN, DAVID MCLEAN, N. A. M. RODGER, DAVID STARKEY
An engaging and informative first-hand account of the last `grain race' of maritime history, from respected travel writer Eric Newby. In 1939, a young Eric Newby - later renowned as a travel writer of exceptional talent - set sail aboard Moshulu, the largest sailing ship still employed in the transportation of grain from Australia to Europe. Every year from 1921 to 1939, the vessels involved in the grain trade would strive to find the shortest, fastest passage home - `the grain race' - in the face of turbulent seas, atrocious weather conditions and hard graft. First published in 1956, `The Last Grain Race', featuring many photographs from the author's personal collection, celebrates both the spirit of adventure and the thrill of sailing on the high seas. Newby's first-hand account - engaging and informative, with frequent bursts of humour and witty observations from both above and below deck - chronicles this classic sailing voyage of the Twenties and Thirties, and records the last grain race of maritime history.
"We went up on deck and were looking around when the awful crash came. The ship listed so much that we all scrambled down the deck and for a moment everything was in confusion. When I came to myself again I glanced around but could find no trace of Mr Prichard. He seemed to have disappeared." - Grace French The sinking of the Lusitania is an event that has been predominantly discussed from a political or maritime perspective. For the first time, The Lusitania Sinking tells the story in the emotive framework of a family looking for information on their son's death. On 1 May 1915, the 29-year-old student Preston Prichard embarked as a Second Class passenger on the Lusitania, bound from New York for Liverpool. By 2pm on the afternoon of 7 May, the liner was approaching the coast of Ireland when she was sighted by the German submarine U-20\. A single torpedo caused a massive explosion in the Lusitania's hold, and the ship began sank rapidly. Within 20 minutes she disappeared and 1,198 men, women and children, including Preston, died. Uncertain of Preston's fate, his family leaped into action. His brother Mostyn, who lived in Ramsgate, travelled to Queenstown to search morgues but could find nothing. Preston's mother wrote hundreds of letters to survivors to find out more about what might have happened in his last moments. The Lusitania Sinking compiles the responses received. Perhaps sensing his fate, Prichard had put his papers in order before embarking and told a fellow student where to find his will if anything happened to him. During the voyage, he was often seen in the company of Grace French, quoted above. Alice Middleton, who had a crush on him but was too shy to speak to him throughout the entire voyage, remembered that he helped her in reaching the upper decks during the last moments of the sinking: "[The Lusitania] exploded and down came her funnels, so over I jumped. I had a terrible time in the water, 41/2 hours bashing about among the wreckage and dead bodies... It was 10.30 before they landed me at the hospital in an unconscious condition. In fact, they piled me with a boat full of dead and it was only when they were carrying the dead bodies to the Mortuary that they discovered there was still life in me."
Do you remember the docks? In its heyday, the Port of London was the biggest in the world. It was a sprawling network of quays, wharves, canals and basins, providing employment for over 100,000 people. From the dockworker to the prostitute, the Romans to the Republic of the Isle of Dogs, London's docklands have always been a key part of the city. But it wasn't to last. They might have recovered from the devastating bombing raids of the Second World War - but it was the advent of the container ships, too big to fit down the Thames, that would sound the final death knell. Over 150,000 men lost their jobs, whole industries disappeared, and the docks gradually turned to wasteland. In London's Docklands: A History of the Lost Quarter, best-selling historian Fiona Rule ensures that, though the docklands may be all but gone, they will not be forgotten.
Elizabeth's Sea Dogs investigates the rise and fall of a unique group of adventurers - men like Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Martin Frobisher and Walter Raleigh. Seen by the English as heroes but by the Spanish as pirates, they were expert seafarers and controversial characters. This riveting new account reveals them for what they were: extremely tough men in extremely hard times. They sailed, fought, looted and whored their way across the globe; in the process, they established a lasting British presence in the Americas, defeated the Spanish Armada, and made Queen Elizabeth I very wealthy, if seldom grateful. Author Hugh Bicheno sets the Sea Dogs in historical context and reveals their lives and exploits through diligent historical research incorporating contemporary testimony. With additional appendices, colour plates, the author's own maps and technical drawings, Elizabeth's Sea Dogs tells their vivid, extraordinary story as it was lived, in the author's trademark engaging style.
The emergence of the submarine in 1914 as a major strategic weapon was swift and unexpected. On 5 September 1914, a British light cruiser, HMS Pathfinder, was sunk by the German submarine U-21, becoming the first victim of a free-fired torpedo. The basis of naval warfare had been changed forever. Submarines offers a highly illustrated guide to all the main classes of submarines to be used in naval warfare from the beginning of World War I to the present day. Divided by era, campaign and country, the book includes sections on submarine forces in 1914, technical developments during the 1930s, the Atlantic convoy war during World War II, Soviet submarine development during the Cold War, the introduction of nuclear-powered submarines, submarines of the Falklands War, and the latest ICBM carriers. Special emphasis is given to the U-Boats of World War II, arranged by flotilla. All the main types are included, from the World War I-era German U-1 and British F-class, through the Type VII U-boats and US Gato class of World War II, and coming up-to-date with the latest missile submarines, such as HMS Astute, USS Virginia, the Russian Borei class, the Chinese Shang class and the INS Arihant.
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