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The Ship Asunder

A Maritime History of Britain in Eleven Vessels

Tom Nancollas



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Particular Books
04 March 2022
A sharply poignant history of British seafaring, from the Bronze Age to the present day
If Britain's maritime history were embodied in a single ship, she would have a prehistoric prow, a mast plucked from a Victorian steamship, the hull of a modest fishing vessel, the propeller of an ocean liner and an anchor made of stone. We might call her Asunder, and, fantastical though she is, we could in fact find her today, scattered in fragments across the country's creeks and coastlines. This extraordinary book collects those fragments for a profound and haunting exploration of our seafaring past.

In his moving and original new history, Tom Nancollas goes in search of eleven relics that together tell the story of Britain at sea. From the swallowtail prow of a Bronze Age vessel to a stone ship moored at a Baroque quayside, each one illuminates a distinct phase of our adventures upon the waves; each brings us close to the people, places and vessels that made a maritime nation. Weaving together stories of great naval architects and unsung shipwrights, fishermen and merchants, shipwrecks and superstition, pilgrimage, trade and war, The Ship Asunder celebrates the richness of Britain's seafaring tradition in all its glory and tragedy, triumph and disaster, and asks how we might best memorialize it as it vanishes from our shores.
 The Ship Asunder: A Maritime History of Britain in Eleven Vessels

Imprint:   Particular Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   453g
ISBN:   9780241434147
ISBN 10:   0241434149
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Born in Gloucester in 1988, Tom Nancollas is a writer and building conservationist based in London. After university, he joined English Heritage to work on church repair grants before moving on to the City of London and its historic townscape. Of Cornish ancestry, Tom maintained a love of seascapes during his work in the capital and became fascinated with offshore rock lighthouses, which were the subject of his critically acclaimed first book, Seashaken Houses, published in 2018.

Reviews for The Ship Asunder: A Maritime History of Britain in Eleven Vessels

Elegantly combining a tour of Britain's ports, coasts and islands with a tour of an imaginary ship that contains fragments acquired across the centuries, Tom Nancollas has written an enchanting and thoughtful account of Britain's rich maritime heritage. -- David Abulafia, author of The Great Sea and The Boundless Sea Tom Nancollas takes us aboard eleven historic vessels, covering three and a half millennia of British Maritime history, from the Middle Bronze Age to the early 20th century. Each ship has its own story to tell, which Tom brings to life with astonishing clarity. This book is written with passion and sympathy. It will live with me for a very long time. -- Francis Pryor, author of The Fens

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