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SOCIAL HISTORY RNavy "THE BRITISH SAILOR" Peter Kemp
£8.00 + P & P
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The British Sailor
a social history of the lower deck

Peter Kemp

1970 First by
J. M. Dent & Sons Limited, London

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A NEAR FINE condition blue cloth bound book with silver lettering to spine - page block pristine - in a VERY GOOD PLUS condition clipped dust wrapper.

JACKET BLURBS

PETER KEMP
The British Sailor: A Social History of the Lower Deck
With 16 pages of plates

"Believe me, I shall never take my hat off for anything less than a British seaman. It is easy to subscribe a million of money at Lloyd's, by putting your hand in your pocket ; but it requires the hearts of lions, and the fortitude of untamable spirits, to attack the bold front of defiance . . . and bend it to your purpose."

Thus wrote John Eckstein about the seamen of the Royal Navy after a visit to the Diamond Rock in 1804 to see for himself how they tackled the task of holding this inhospitable islet for a year within gunshot of the French bases in Martinique. He could in fact have been writing of any period in the long history of the Navy, for this same fortitude and singleness of purpose in war are repeated whenever the Navy of Britain has fought.

This characteristic trait of the British sailor is the more surprising when set against the social background in which he lived and fought in the days of the sailing Navy. Yet even four hundred years ago, the author notes, to have served under Drake, Grenville, Raleigh, Essex, Hawkins, Howard of Effingham, Cabot, Gilbert, was a distinct cachet for a seaman and enhanced his stature with his fellows. He began to acquire a certain social standing even though, as often as not, he came from the dregs of the waterside.

Most people have read something about the stern discipline based on hangings at the yardarm and the use of the cat-o '-nine-tails ; of the abuses of the victualling system through which the sailor's food was often putrid and uneatable ; of the killing diseases which decimated British fleets and for which no cure was known ; of the wild debauches of sailors on board with their women when their ships were in harbour because the risk of desertion was too great to allow them shore leave.

This book deals with it all in detail, from the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588 to the outbreak of the 1914-18 war. It is based on deep research into contemporary documents and reports, and traces the gradual evolution of a social conscience in the Royal Navy aimed, through the leadership of enlightened admirals and captains, at a lessening of the very real hardships which afflicted the sailor in every aspect of his life on board.

THE AUTHOR
Peter Kemp, OBE, F.R.HIST.S., was born in 1904 and educated at the Royal Naval Colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth. He later served in submarines until invalided out after the loss of a leg. Served in Naval Intelligence Division during the last war. He later returned to the Admiralty as Librarian and Head of Historical Branch. His earlier books include H.M. Submarines, H.M. Destroyers, Fleet Air Arm, Brethren of the Coast, Victory at Sea, History of the Royal Navy.

These images are intended to show the condition of the spine and dust jacket of this book. If there is anything else you wish to see please let me know and I will scan it for you !
These images are intended to show the condition of the spine and dust jacket of this book. If there is anything else you wish to see please let me know and I will scan it for you !
These images are intended to show the condition of the spine and dust jacket of this book. If there is anything else you wish to see please let me know and I will scan it for you !

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