Island Nation: A History of Britain and the Sea

Overview

What does it mean to be an island nation and why is it so important to Britain? There never was a time when the boundaries of state coincided with its coastline, even if one ignores the small offshore islands. Yet for all our cultural differences, the island peoples of Britain became for a while the most successful maritime nation in modern history, creating the largest empire of all time, backed for more than 200 years by the strongest navy and the largest merchant fleet. And ...
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Overview

What does it mean to be an island nation and why is it so important to Britain? There never was a time when the boundaries of state coincided with its coastline, even if one ignores the small offshore islands. Yet for all our cultural differences, the island peoples of Britain became for a while the most successful maritime nation in modern history, creating the largest empire of all time, backed for more than 200 years by the strongest navy and the largest merchant fleet. And Britain is still a maritime nation.

This magnificent volume explores our rich and complex relationship with the sea through several thousand years of history. Author Brian Lavery moves with consummate skill between topics as diverse as the rise of the Royal Navy or the development of specialised fisheries, the motives behind exploration and emigration or the protection of our shores from invasion, to deliver an all-encompassing account that is accessible and revealing.

The book expresses the British seafaring spirit, not just remembered in the legendary figures of Drake and Cook, but continued in our Olympic successes in sailing and epitomised in Ellen MacArthur's record-breaking, single-handed, round-the-world voyage that so captured the public imagination.

And beyond this the sea has been a vital inspiration to so many artists and writers, which is beautifully reflected in the wealth of paintings from the collection of the National Maritime Museum that illustrate the book. Additional photographic imagery comes principally from the picture archives of VisitBritain and Conway Maritime Press.

Each chapter includes features on preserved ships, classic boats, museums and other notable sites, both coastal and inland, such as lighthouses and canals, and the book is rounded off with a Gazetteer listing 150 maritime attractions. For sailors and landlubbers alike, The Island Nation is a glorious reminder that our maritime heritage is something we can all engage with.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844860166
  • Publisher: Conway Maritime Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 4
SeaBritain 2005 6
Foreword 7
1 The British Seas 8
2 The Age of Invasions 16
3 The Middle Ages 23
4 Sea Power Under Sail 30
5 Trade Under Sail 42
6 Exploration and Empire 52
7 The British Sailor 64
8 The Age of Steam 74
9 Maritime Science 86
10 Resources from the Sea 96
11 The Age of Emigration 106
12 Wreck and Rescue 114
13 Leisure and the Sea 124
14 The World Wars 136
15 Maritime Art 148
16 Britain in the Global Age 155
Gazetteer of Attractions 163
Glossary 171
Picture Credits 172
Bibliography 173
Index 174
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