counter create hit Heart of Oak: A Sailor's Life in Nelson's Navy - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Heart of Oak: A Sailor's Life in Nelson's Navy

Availability: Ready to download

The extraordinary photography in this book was inspired by the author's reading of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. In small museums along the English coast, and in private collections, James McGuane has recorded artifacts recovered from shipwrecks and preserved by modern conservation techniques. Taken together, these unique treasures provide a window onto the ever The extraordinary photography in this book was inspired by the author's reading of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. In small museums along the English coast, and in private collections, James McGuane has recorded artifacts recovered from shipwrecks and preserved by modern conservation techniques. Taken together, these unique treasures provide a window onto the everyday life of sailors and officers in the Royal Navy of the Napoleonic era. Thanks to advances in marine archaeology, it is often possible to establish the exact identity of a wrecked warship, along with the date and circumstances of its sinking. We are thus provided with a moment frozen in time: tools, clothing, utensils, weapons, and fragments of the ship itself startlingly intact. These photographs bring home to the reader—as words alone cannot—what a sailor's life in that time was really like. Also photographed here is Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, proudly preserved at Portsmouth. Victory survived the great fleet action at Trafalgar, where Nelson himself died, and it is still a commissioned ship in the Royal Navy.


Compare

The extraordinary photography in this book was inspired by the author's reading of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. In small museums along the English coast, and in private collections, James McGuane has recorded artifacts recovered from shipwrecks and preserved by modern conservation techniques. Taken together, these unique treasures provide a window onto the ever The extraordinary photography in this book was inspired by the author's reading of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. In small museums along the English coast, and in private collections, James McGuane has recorded artifacts recovered from shipwrecks and preserved by modern conservation techniques. Taken together, these unique treasures provide a window onto the everyday life of sailors and officers in the Royal Navy of the Napoleonic era. Thanks to advances in marine archaeology, it is often possible to establish the exact identity of a wrecked warship, along with the date and circumstances of its sinking. We are thus provided with a moment frozen in time: tools, clothing, utensils, weapons, and fragments of the ship itself startlingly intact. These photographs bring home to the reader—as words alone cannot—what a sailor's life in that time was really like. Also photographed here is Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, proudly preserved at Portsmouth. Victory survived the great fleet action at Trafalgar, where Nelson himself died, and it is still a commissioned ship in the Royal Navy.

30 review for Heart of Oak: A Sailor's Life in Nelson's Navy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    I’ve been a historian for a long time but my interest is much less in grand theories and international politics and much more in local history, especially material culture -- also known as artifacts. That’s one of the reasons I became interested in local preservation and old cemeteries, and why I got certified as an archivist after earning my library science graduate degree. I’m also a longstanding fan of Napoleonic sea stories, having begun in junior high with my father’s collection of C. S. Fo I’ve been a historian for a long time but my interest is much less in grand theories and international politics and much more in local history, especially material culture -- also known as artifacts. That’s one of the reasons I became interested in local preservation and old cemeteries, and why I got certified as an archivist after earning my library science graduate degree. I’m also a longstanding fan of Napoleonic sea stories, having begun in junior high with my father’s collection of C. S. Forrester. But most good naval adventure novels can’t pause to explain the jargon of sail-handling or the parts of a frigate. And if you don’t understand the difference between a Turk’s head and a cathead, if you can’t visualize a young sailor avoiding the lubber’s hole on his way to the top, you’re going to miss much of the flavor of the story, not to mention misunderstanding much of the action. (This is a regular complaint among younger readers attempting Patrick O’Brien’s books -- “I don’t know what’s happening!”) Anyway, books like McGuane’s lavishly illustrated volume can help. He toured museums and private collections all over southern England in search of surviving or recovered bits of physical naval history, arranged for high-quality photography, and wrote up the accompanying explanatory text. Many of the examples depicted came from the sunken Invincible, which went down after running on the shoals off Southampton in 1758 -- two generations too early for the Napoleonic period, but you take what you can get. McGuane also makes use of Victory itself, but not nearly enough. Why not use Nelson’s flagship to explain deck layout and parts of the ship? In terms of what he does include, everyone at the time saved their mementos of Lord Nelson and Trafalgar, of course, so those take up the whole first chapter. The following chapters deal with navigation, deck gear and rigging, sails, guns and gunpowder, officers and men, leisure and recreation, and so on. There are some amazing items here, including examples of original ship’s biscuit (which demonstrates how tightly a cask could be sealed). In general, the explanatory text is very good in its descriptions and morsels of history, though the phrasing is a little awkward at times. The author also goes a little astray, in my opinion, with photos of gravestones and surviving port buildings which have changed radically in the past two centuries. Still, this is a lovely oversized book that will answer questions for novices and bring pleasure to old salts.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is a beautiful coffee table book that would be more aptly-titled "A Ship's Life in Nelson's Navy." Every last detail of a ship-of-the-line is chronicled with delicate photography and brief, elegant descriptions, citations, and historical footnotes. The HMS Victory features prominently in this collection as do many other famous ships of war. The emphasis of the book is on craftsmanship, not the gilded trappings of the sea officer. Although fine presentation swords and bullion fridge and sple This is a beautiful coffee table book that would be more aptly-titled "A Ship's Life in Nelson's Navy." Every last detail of a ship-of-the-line is chronicled with delicate photography and brief, elegant descriptions, citations, and historical footnotes. The HMS Victory features prominently in this collection as do many other famous ships of war. The emphasis of the book is on craftsmanship, not the gilded trappings of the sea officer. Although fine presentation swords and bullion fridge and splendid figureheads receive their due, most of the photographs depict much humbler items: well-worn caulking tools, hand-made brooms, a sailor's stained, patched trousers. There is also a chapter lovingly dedicated to sailor's folk art, and the objects made by prisoners of the French are particularly interesting. A breathtakingly intricate model guillotine is a haunting image, a bit of grim humour from a sailor who might easily have been sent to the guillotine himself. The book presents a comprehensive view of a ship in a piecemeal fashion, loosely based on everyday life in the Royal Navy. It is not really about "a sailor's life" - the focus of the book is objects, not people. Perhaps its only flaw is you don't get much sense of a complete ship - there are no descriptions of battles or majestic photographs of sailing vessels. It is light on technical information, but a beautiful enough book that the more detailed-oriented, hardcore naval types will still find enjoyment in the beautiful photographs and concise histories of each object.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Pinard

    What a beautiful book! I was attracted to the beautiful photographs as a history-lover, then entranced by the little bits of history in each of the explanations. I love learning about daily habits or traditions that have been given over, and this book was full of everyday details of the sailors in Nelson's navy, as well as the ships they guided through many a battle. It made me want to visit some of the museums that house the artifacts presented, too. What a beautiful book! I was attracted to the beautiful photographs as a history-lover, then entranced by the little bits of history in each of the explanations. I love learning about daily habits or traditions that have been given over, and this book was full of everyday details of the sailors in Nelson's navy, as well as the ships they guided through many a battle. It made me want to visit some of the museums that house the artifacts presented, too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    James

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sami

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sabur76

  7. 4 out of 5

    Richard Waymire

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phil Meadows

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ravenna

  10. 5 out of 5

    No

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Collins

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peter Haugen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Margueritte

  16. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Papp

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Pollock

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

  20. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Nelson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dana

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bill Dilworth

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jared Goopio

  25. 5 out of 5

    Donald Moss

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Millsap

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Ketch

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steve Morgan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tom

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.