Seafaring Lore and Legend: A Maritime Miscellany of Myth, Superstition, Fable and Fact

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9780071435437: Seafaring Lore and Legend: A Maritime Miscellany of Myth, Superstition, Fable and Fact

From Noah's Ark to St. Elmo's Fire, "Seafaring Lore and Legend" leaves no maritime fable or superstition unturned. Author Peter Jeans has spent years compiling these sea stories, and his relaxed writing style and passion for nautical tales make for fast, enjoyable, and informative reading. The wealth of colorful information includes: oddities of nautical custom; famous wrecks and mutinies; castaways and survivors; and pirates and buccaneers.

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From the Back Cover:

"A valuable and lively resource. Jeans sorts truth from fiction with a sure hand and does full justice to both." Peter Jeans, President Emeritus, National Maritime Historical Society

Seafarers follow a way of life unlike any other, and they have created and handed down through thousands of years a rich legacy of peculiar customs, bizarre beliefs, and outlandish tales of the wonders and horrors to be found beyond the edge of the known. This sourcebook of maritime mystery, history, and legend leaves no superstition unturned in its quest to celebrate the most colorful and curious aspects of our nautical heritage.

Ever wonder why ships are referred to as 'she' and 'her,' whether sea serpents ever really existed, or whether Davy Jones had a real-life origin? Seafaring Lore and Legend answers these questions and hundreds more you never thought to ask, like why 'Pig & Whistle' is such a popular name for English pubs.

Maritime lore and legend is as broad and deep as the sea itself. In addition to the Mediterranean sea gods, Neptune and Poseidon, you'll meet lesser-known deities such as Portuna, Nereus, and Maui. You'll set sail with Sindbad, Saint Brendan, and a host of other legendary voyagers; travel to the lost land of Lyonesse; and get a taste of seafaring life on the Spanish Main. You'll learn about the birth of the British Royal Navy and the lives of history's greatest and most notorious sea captains, and discover so many nautical superstitions and taboos that you'll wonder how anyone ever dared to set sail at all.

Entertaining, authoritative, and peppered with countless fascinating details of life aboard ships, Seafaring Lore and Legend makes for compelling reading and delightful browsing while remaining an indispensable reference for anyone afflicted with an incurable passion for ships, sailors, and the sea.

Peter Jeans began his love affair with seafaring lore more than forty years ago. He has been an adventurer, English teacher, and columnist, and is an avid sailor and writer whose books include Ship to Shore: A Dictionary of Everyday Words and Phrases Derived from the Sea.

A storehouse of wonders for those who love the sea

Seafaring Lore and Legend explores the most colorful and curious aspects of our nautical heritage. From Noah's Ark to Thor Heyerdahl's raft, from Atlantis to the Northwest Passage, author Peter Jeans scours the ages and the seven seas for fanciful, inspiring, and bizarre tales of sea monsters, ghost ships, lost continents, castaways, pirates, explorers, superstitions, and customs. His thoughtful and amusing introductions point out the significance of each story and examine their impacts on maritime and human history. His passion for all things nautical has led him to uncover the surprising truths behind:

-The origins of naval salutes and the Beaufort Scale
-Flogging a dead horse and other oddities of nautical custom
-Sea chanties, scurvy, and the hardships of life at sea
-Infamous and noteworthy sea captains and their ships
-Famous wrecks and mutinies
-Mermaids, sirens, and sea nymphs
-Nautical superstitions such as the albatross and Fiddler's Green
-And much more

This is a book you can open anywhere to savor for a few minutes or an afternoon. But be careful: it's easy to lose track of time at sea.

About the Author:

Peter Jeans (Perth, Australia) wrote Ship to Shore: A Dictionary of Everyday Words and Phrases Derived from the Sea. He is an avid writer and sailor.

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