A series of six original accounts edited by Vincent McInerney
Published by: Seaforth Publishing
Available to members of South West Maritime History Society AS A COLLECTION
at the deeply discounted price of £65.00 for the collection (Normal price £81.94p+ post.) Members should Quote : ‘SWS’ when ordering. This would make a wonderful Christmas Gift!!
Tel: 01226 734 555 Website www.seaforthpublishing.com Email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a collection that every member should treasure, and I suspect will become standard works in their class. Seaforth Publishing and their editor Vincent McInerney are fully deserving of congratulations in bringing this series to our note, and I feel they deserve a place in school and college libraries as records telling of life as it was with no frills or embellishments but full of fascinating facts.
It is seldom that a reviewer considers the Editor ahead of the books, but in this case Vincent McInerney, who previously worked in the Merchant Marine and was later an editor for BBC, is deserving of an accolade. He has edited the texts of original journals prepared by six differing persons working at sea during the period 1700 to 1860. The Editor’s work is faultless, preserving as he does the wry and sometimes unconscious humour both of the time and of the individual who originally penned the words, whilst translating the accounts into an easily understandable account for modern readers. From very different backgrounds, in each case the accounts are ‘told as it was’, with no embroidery – and the stories are all the better for that. I found much of the information fresh with none of the theorising so often present in more recent academic accounts, and of huge interest to the reader whether from 15 years to 75 years. I feel this collection of books is so important that they should be compulsory reading in every school library in Britain – and for the teenager, making rattling good adventure stories to the bargain. As a way to learn of our history, it cannot be bettered.
The Six books share a common format being easily pocketable at 120mm x 185mm, and containing from 161 to 229 pages. All of the books contain a very through and carefully written introduction prepared by Vincent McInerney, which sets the scene and explains what the reader is about to delve into. This layout makes it particularly well suited for teaching purposes, whilst not being overtly ‘academic’, but the written accounts prepared by the mariners are hugely instructive of the lives and times in which they are set.
Individual reviews of each book:
Reviewed by David. B. Clement
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