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Treasure Hunt Hardcover – 17 May 2007

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Hardcover, 17 May 2007
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"Treasure Hunt" is the story of a national obsession. Dreams of Spanish treasure, of unearned gold at the bottom of the sea, have been a part of the English psyche since long before effective diving equipment was invented. In 1687, Captain William Phips weighed anchor in English waters with an incredible cargo - nearly forty tons of silver and gold, the treasure of the Spanish galleon Concepcion, wrecked over forty years before on a coral reef in the middle of the ocean. This treasure in coins and bullion had been raised by naked divers, unaided by breathing equipment. The great British treasure-hunting boom had begun. Over the next two hundred years, many such adventures, most based on extremely dubious information, were begun, with many fortunes and lives lost in the process. The real boom for underwater treasure hunting took place in the 1690s, with the invention of crude, very dangerous diving equipment. And, with the advent of the stock market, gambling and treasure-hunting became closely connected to the birth of modern capitalism.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, treasure-hunting became a professional occupation, with a new breed of diver emerging to salvage the wrecks of English and Dutch East-Indiamen carrying treasure to finance purchases in Asia. World-renowned naval historian Peter Earle returns with an extraordinary and little-known history of a peculiarly English phenomenon - of outstanding bravery, of exceptional recklessness, and above all, of dreams of treasure.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Another Gift from Earle 7 Nov. 2009
By Colonial Nerd - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have now read four books by Earle and each has been a pleasure. He combines a fluid and fast-moving writing style with an underlying academic rigor as reflected in his extensive use of original sources; all of which leaves a reader with a great sense of confidence in the end product. In this case, he has also chosen a subject with a fascinating cast of characters, and stories of stock-jobbing which help round out the picture of the high flyers who were involved in these dangerous endeavors. As with some of his other books, sources include archives outside England from ehich he gleans valuable additional perspectives
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Earle at his usual! Amazing read from the start! 1 Jan. 2012
By Robert L. Knecht - Published on
Verified Purchase
I first read Earle's "Treasure of the Concepcion" many years ago when I was working with renowned shipwreck researcher Jack Haskins, who discovered Concepcion in the Archives in Seville. John Grissim's book about the same wreck is interesting, but unfortunately, Burt Webber (who lead the expedition in 1978) controlled so much of the content (Grissim was one of Webber's divers), and the way the story was told, you don't get an authentic version of the true story.

Earle is an exceptional researcher (he helped Haskins narrow down the location of the wreck when he discovered the log book of William Phipps in England), and a truly entertaining writer. He takes what could be a boring read about historical facts and turns the information into something you can almost touch. If you are fascinated by treasure hunting, and especially how it began, don't miss this book! It's hard to put down, and is an integral part of our research at the store!
Outstanding work. 6 Feb. 2014
By William Forbes - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent coverage by outstanding author for the period and subject. Good referencing from both British and Spanish sources. Valuable buy.
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