Britain and the Ocean Road

Shipwrecks and People, 1297-1825

Ian Friel

This is the first of two books aimed at introducing a general audience to the gripping (and at times horrifying) story of Britain, its people and the sea. The books will also interest historians and archaeologists, as they are based on original scholarship.
Date Published :
March 2021
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
Integrated maps, figures and 1 x 16 pp of mono illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526738363
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$49.95

Overview
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Britain and the Ocean Road uses new firsthand research and unconventional interpretations to take a fresh look at British maritime history in the age of sail.

The human stories of eight shipwrecks serve as waypoints on the voyage, as the book explores how and why Britain became a global sea power. Each chapter has people at its heart – sailors, seafaring families, passengers, merchants, pirates, explorers, and many others. The narrative encompasses an extraordinary range of people, ships and events, such as a bloody maritime civil war in the 13th century, a 17th-century American teenager who stepped from one ship to another - and into a life of piracy, a British warship that fought at Trafalgar (on the French side), and the floating hell of a Liverpool slave-ship, sunk in the year before the slave trade was abolished.

The book is full of surprising details and scenes, including England’s rudest and crudest streetname, what it was like to be a passenger in a medieval ship (take a guess), how a fragment of the English theater reached the Far East during Shakespeare’s lifetime, who forgave who after a deadly pirate duel, why there were fancy dress parties in the Arctic, and where you could get the best herring.

Britain and the Ocean Road is the first of two works aimed at introducing a general audience to the gripping (and at times horrifying) story of Britain, its people and the sea. The books will also interest historians and archaeologists, as they are based on original scholarship. The second book, Breaking Seas, Broken Ships will take the story from the age of steam to the 21st century.

About The Author
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Dr. Ian Friel is a maritime historian with an international reputation and wide experience of historical and archaeological projects, such as research into Henry V’s great warship Grace Dieu and the 17th-century Swash Channel Wreck (which he successfully identified as the Fame of Hoorn). After a long career working in museums, including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Mary Rose Trust, he went freelance in 2007 as an independent historian, museum consultant and writer.

Ian is the author of The Good Ship, The British Museum Maritime History of Britain and Ireland and Henry V’s Navy, along with many papers, reports and other publications, and he has broadcast on TV and radio.

REVIEWS
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"Friel’s research, some of which is original and some of which draws on other expert sources in the fields of history and archaeology, robustly supports the thesis of the work, and therefore offers significant value for interested scholars."

- Naval Historical Foundation

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