The sea and its relation to human life has always been a subject of fascination for historians. For the first time, this book looks at the field of Maritime History through the prism of identity - imperial, national, regional, gender and religious - from maritime great powers such as Britain, Germany and Japan, to smaller players such as Norway and Italy. It considers the variety of people who interacted with the sea in different ways - from merchant sailors to naval officers and, on land, from dockworkers to the civilians who participated in the sea-based festivals in the Mediterranean port city of Messina. A cultural strand runs through the volume, with chapters focusing on the cultural construction of the naval hero in literature, poetry, music and art, and analysing how sailors used tattoos to express aspects of their identity in the nineteenth century. By bringing together a variety of themes related to identity, this book provides an important and unique addition to the historiography, which will be essential reading for all scholars of maritime and naval history and those concerned with the question of identity.
Dr Duncan Redford is the Senior Research Fellow, Modern Naval History at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and the Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Modern Naval History at the University of Portsmouth. Between 2008 and 2011 he was the Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter, where his research looked at the relationship between the Royal Navy and British National Identity, 1870-1980. His doctoral research was awarded the Laughton Naval history Scholarship by King's College London (2002-6) and investigated 'The cultural impact of submarines on Britain 1900-1977' which formed the basis of his first book Submarine: A Cultural History from the Great War to Nuclear Combat, published by I. B. Tauris in 2010. He is currently the general editor of a 14 volume series examining the history of the Royal Navy which will be launched at Easter 2014, to which he is contributing volumes on the Royal Navy in the Twentieth Century (2014), The Royal Navy in the Second World War (2014), and the Submarine Service (2017).
A former Royal Navy officer, Duncan joined the Navy in 1991 as a Warfare Officer, carrying out his initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College, HMS Broadsword and HMS Boxer, before being selected to do a BA (Hons) in Maritime Defence, Management and Technology at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon. A volunteer for service in submarines, Duncan served on T class hunter-killer submarines at the Second Submarine Squadron, Devonport, and was the Navigating Officer of HMS Tireless and then HMS Turbulent. He left the Royal Navy in 2001.