Reading List: Maritime Adventures

From a Victorian circumnavigation of the globe to the tragedy of the Titanic, six tales of epic and sometimes tragic maritime adventure from the briny depths.

  • Words: Alexander Hawkins

Mauretania
by Humfrey Jordan
In 1909, her inaugural season, the ocean liner Mauretania set the fastest time for the Atlantic crossing, a record she would hold for 20 years. Embodying the golden age of transatlantic travel, Jordan’s biography of a much-loved ship encapsulates the turbulent decades of the early 20th century.

The Navy from Within
by K.G.B. Dewar
In 1928, after 38 years of decorated service in the Royal Navy, Vice Admiral Dewar found himself at the centre of a mutiny. Although vindicated at the subsequent court-martial, he would retire a year later and his memoirs are a vitriolic indictment of the navy’s practices.

A Voyage in the Sunbeam
by Baroness Annie Allnutt Brassey
A true classic of travel literature, Voyage chronicles Lord and Lady Brassey’s circumnavigation of the globe in their yacht, Sunbeam. Written at the end of the 19th century, it is an engaging vignette of a world, and its exotic cultures, on the verge.

The Ebb-Tide
by Robert Louis Stevenson
A far cry from the swashbuckling adventurers of Treasure Island, The Ebb-Tide is a contemporary story of moral depravity at the edge of civilisation. Written in collaboration with Stevenson’s stepson, four unscrupulous crew members in charge of a stolen, smallpox-infected ship ostracise themselves from society and drift ever closer to insanity.

A Night to Remember
by Walter Lord
Since it was published in 1955, this essential history of the sinking of the Titanic has never been out of print. Drawing from firsthand interviews with survivors of the disaster, as well as their books, memoirs and articles, Lord knits together a compelling account of the infamous maritime tragedy.

Five on a Treasure Island
by Enid Blyton
The first of the Famous Five adventures sees the gang unravel a thrilling mystery – a ghostly shipwreck, a treasure map and shady anonymous antique dealers. A wonderfully escapist tale, the book was published in 1942, echoing the war-time experiences of evacuation and rationing in a safe, ordered and thoroughly English world.

Article taken from
Articles

Further Reading

Pyrogeography

The opening of a major new centre for the study of wildfire in London this year is the latest admission of the impact it is having on society and the environment.

Up Close: Ice Fishers

Photographer Aleksey Kondratyev on the generations of Kazakh men who brave temperatures that often reach forty degrees below zero in the hope of catching fish beneath the ice.

Life. Limitless.

Taking its cue from T.S. Eliot’s quote “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”, Life. Limitless. is a collaboration between Clarks and Land Rover.

The Anatomy of an Antarctic Explorer

Last December Louis Rudd became the first Briton to cross Antarctica using muscle power alone. Here he describes in precise detail how the 925 mile crossing impacted on each part of his body.

Budapest Fencers

The striking Honved Fencing Club in Budapest has been converted from a synagogue. Its impressive legacy includes producing a string of female fencing champions.

Ripped Genes

The ever-growing bank of genomic data we have is radically transforming our world, and as with all revolutions it will spark both positive and negative consequences.
Browse by Category