The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (Oxford Quick Reference)

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9780198606161: The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea (Oxford Quick Reference)

The most comprehensive and authoritative reference book of its kind, The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea is a completely revised and updated edition of a classic volume that was first published in 1976 to huge acclaim. It brings together more than 2,600 entries on every imaginable aspect of the seas and the vessels that sail on them, from shipbuilding, yachting, diving, and marine mammals, to tidal power, piracy, and the literature and language of the sea.

This second edition provides significant new material on topics that have come to prominence in recent times, such as oceanography and marine archaeology: key contributions on these subjects from marine expert Dr Martin Angel at Southampton Oceanography Centre include climate change, environmental issues, marine pollution, and marine wildlife. Among the many brand new entries to this edition are up-to-the-minute articles on underwater vehicles, tsunamis, warfare at sea, marine pollution, the Economic Exclustion Zone, and ship preservation.

This Companion also includes authoritative and fascinating entries on maritime history: its naval battles, including Pearl Harbour and Trafalgar; its great ships, from Noah's Ark and the Bounty to the Titanic and the Mary Rose; and its most famous individuals, both real and fictional, including Christopher Columbus, Horatio Nelson, and Robinson Crusoe.

Entries are fully cross-referenced, and the text is illustrated with over 260 detailed drawings, making it more accessible than ever before.

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About the Author:


I. C. B. Dear (general editor of the second edition) was educated at the Nautical College, Pangbourne and the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. He is the general editor of the highly-acclaimed Oxford Companion to the Second World War and the compiler of Oxford English: A Guide to the Language. The late Peter Kemp (general editor of the first edition) was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne and Dartmouth. He published widely on naval, military, and yachting subjects, and wrote several children's novels.

From Booklist:

Oxford has made a great reference work even better. An essential for questions about the oceans and seagoing vessels, this A-Z encyclopedia compiles 2,600 scholarly entries that reflect sailing history from 3000 B.C. to the present. In addition to diagrams of -clipper-ship rigging, data on the battle against scurvy, sketches of sailor's knots, a drawing of a hornpipe dance, and names of sea battles and their participants, the updated companion offers information on environmental issues, a chart of the Beaufort scale, the global thermohaline conveyor, a map of Magellan's voyage across the Pacific, and methods of preserving archaeological finds. A 25-page cross-referencing index ties the obscure to the commonplace; for example, the reader looking up 'cutter cranks' is referred to the entry achting, and saxitoxin is cross-referenced to hale.

The writing style suits the researcher as well as the sampler who likes browsing among fascinating sea lore, details, and courageous deeds. There are entries covering sea songs, the evolution of sails, and the 1836 rescue of a ship's crew by Grace Darling, a lighthouse-keeper's daughter. For readers of Moby Dick, A Night to Remember, The Sea Wolf, or the novels of Patrick O'Brian (who has an entry), the text answers questions about shrouds and bells, mooring and lading, and more.

A meticulous reference classic, this volume belongs in most public and academic libraries and on home reference shelves. It would also delight old salts and shore dwellers as a gift. Since the first edition is more than 30 years old, the update is welcome. Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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