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Sailors: English Merchant Seamen 1650 - 1775

- 256 Pages
Published: 11/01/2007

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Sailors is the history of the English merchant seaman in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; a period during which England rose to dominance in world commence and became the greatest naval power in the world. Drawing on primary documents and memoirs, renowned naval historian, Peter Earle, explores every aspect of the sailor's life: conditions of service, wealth and possessions, life aboard a ship, the perils of the sea, discipline and punishment, sickness, desertion, mutiny and morality, and the role of the sailor in wartime. Peter Earle addresses the popular image of sailors: handkerchiefs knotted round their heads and a cutlass in their hands, as they stare into the blue yonder, on their way to romance and adventure; and introduces us to a diverse range of characters: some diligent, industrious and fearless; others drunk, difficult and careless. We discover that life on the waves was not just about storms and tyranny, piracy and plunder, but harmony and comradeship, the attractions of travel and adventure, and the joys of fine-weather sailing.