What does it mean to be an island people? How has Britain's rich and complex relationship with the sea shaped its national psyche? This beautiful lavishly illustrated exploration of Britain's maritime history sets out to discuss these questions. Brian Lavery takes the reader on a journey around the ports and harbors of Britain's coast, across rivers and along canals, climbing up lighthouses and strolling down piers. He moves with consummate skill between topics as varied as the rise of the Royal Navy and the development of specialized fisheries, the motives behind exploration and emigration and the protection of Britain's shores from invasion, to deliver an all-encompassing history that is accessible and revealing. The pages are alive with tales of the great naval heroes, famous battles, legendary explorers and talented shipbuilders and architects. Each chapter includes a featured ship, dockyard, museum or notable maritime site, such as Chatham Dockyard, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, HMS Belfast, Liverpool's historic port, and the birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh. The book is rounded off with a Gazeteer of over 100 heritage sites. The Island Nation is published as part of the major Sea Britain 2005 initiative whose aim is to coordinate all the various events that are planned for the Trafalgar bicentenary and promote the role that the sea plays and has played in British culture. Partners include The National Maritime Museum, The National Trust, English Heritage, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, The Royal Yachting Association and the Official Nelson Commemorative Committee, among others, with the support of the United Kingdom Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Each ofthese organizations has made a commitment to the promotion of this book.
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