The History of Passengers at Sea, Voyages from the Past

B2154

This is an engaging review of a way of life and travel that is now long gone. This is perhaps a genealogist’s view of the subject, bringing it to life through the people who took passage, the sailors, and the people who built and operated the ships. This is a book that deserves a wide audience because it contains so many fascinating cameos and a great period in history.

Readers will find this a rewarding read and an enjoyable one.

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NAME: The History of Passengers at Sea, Voyages from the Past
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2154
AUTHOR: Simon Wills
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 175
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Liners, passenger ships, cargo and passengers, island nation, Empire, sea routes, trade routes, maritime heritage, steam power, sailing ships
ISBN: 1-78303-636-2
IMAGE: B2154.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/pg47nud
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is an engaging review of a way of life and travel that is now long gone. This is perhaps a genealogist’s view of the subject, bringing it to life through the people who took passage, the sailors, and the people who built and operated the ships. This is a book that deserves a wide audience because it contains so many fascinating cameos and a great period in history.

Water transport has long been a staple of man’s existence. Initially, voyages were close to shore, seeking shelter at night and in bad weather, and vessels working the rivers and estuaries. From the earliest days, passenger transport was an important maritime role. Until very recently, land travel posed extreme risks. Even in 18th Century Britain, the footpad and highwayman were constant threats, roads were poorly maintained, and travel by land was often much slower than travel by boat or ship.

It is a popular mistake to assume that international marine travel is something created during the last 500 years. Ancient cultures undertook significant journeys across oceans and the Vikings built their first settlements in North America almost 1,000 years ago. They were however not the first to undertake long voyages across oceans. It is just that we have lost any records that may have been made and are only uncovering scraps of evidence through archaeology.

The author has wisely confined his story to the voyages of Empire as the British slowly and then with increasing speed began to build a unique maritime-based Empire that encompassed the globe and included arguably something approaching half the world population and affecting the lives of everyone else.

Initially is was the story of risky ventures where pilots and charts did not yet exist, ships were powered by the wind, and the accommodation left much to be desired, whilst the food and water supplies were at best marginal.

As the story unfolds and the ships become larger, steam-powered, made of steel and comfortably equipped, the voyages become more reliable and far less arduous. It is a story that extends almost 500 years and it is a stirring tale of how people went to sea and how sea routes linked together most points around the world.

Readers will find this a rewarding read and an enjoyable one.

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