The History of the Ship, by Richard Woodman

by Peter on December 8, 2010

Ships are fascinating to many people. For me, someone very interested in nautical fiction, they are perhaps more interesting than to most people. I love to read nautical fiction, especially from the romantic Age of Sail, and I like authors who are knowledgeable and provide good descriptions of seamanship and ships.

Richard Woodman’s The History of the Ship, Richard Woodman book about the history of the ship – with the full title The History of the Ship: The Comprehensive Story of Seafaring from the Earliest Times to the Present Day – is a gold mine, a treasure trove, and a must-read for navy fiction aficionados. It is a large, beautiful book, full of wonderful pictures and descriptions of ships from the earliest days to the present. The book is filled with well-researched material about sailing ships of all kinds.

This lavishly illustrated album is quite comprehensive in its coverage of the subject of ships from the galleys of the ancient Mediterranean empires to the container vessels that constitute the conveyer belt of today’s world economy. Both military and civilian ships are included – sail ships of the line, modern battleships and hangar ships along with freighters, tankers and many, many other types.

Richard Woodman has been a professional seafarer since 1960, serving as a midshipman and navigating officer in the cargo liners of the Blue Funnel and Glen Lines, before joining Trinity House in 1967. After thirty-one years at sea he worked in operations management with the rank of Captain, retiring to write full-time in 1997. Besides writing non-fiction books such as the widely acclaimed Arctic Convoys (1994), Malta Convoys (2000), and The Sea Warriors (2001), he has also written the fourteen-strong Nathaniel Drinkwater series, a classic in the world of nautical fiction.

I highly recommend that you get The History of the Ship. Profusely illustrated with more than 250 watercolors, frescoes, and ship’s plans, this scholarly work will delight both specialists and amateurs. It’s really great!

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