'The stories of these wrecks are fascinating and well told - even poetic. But it is what each tells us of the maritime world, naval history and the nature of warfare at sea that gives this selection its great interest and shows the erudition and intelligence of the author' Dr Oliver Walton, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Shipwrecks have captured our imagination for centuries. Here acclaimed historian Sam Willis traces the astonishing tales of ships that have met with disastrous ends, along with the ensuing acts of courage, moments of sacrifice and episodes of villainy that inevitably occurred in the extreme conditions. Many were freak accidents, and their circumstances so extraordinary that they inspired literature: the ramming of the Essex by a sperm whale was immortalized in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Some symbolize colossal human tragedy: including the legendary Titanic whose maiden voyage famously went from pleasure cruise to epic catastrophe. From the Kyrenia ship of 300 BC to the Mary Rose, through to the Kursk submarine tragedy of 2000, this is a thrilling work of narrative history from one of our most talented young historians.