Vasa was the most modern warship imaginable in 1628. Her ability for fast and aggressive sailing, the multiple gun deck and the heavy, custom-made guns were innovations. She was meant to be a key asset for Sweden in a bid for power in Northern Europe. But as with most brilliant innovations there are also failures, and the ship sank on her maiden voyage, a spectacular, costly and embarrassing fiasco. This book contains new information about the ship and the people who built and sailed it. And then there's the story of the discovery of the wreck and its challenging and exciting recovery. The dramatic story-telling is backed up by ground-breaking research, as Fred Hocker unfolds new facts that have now been brought to light. The 17th-century was an era of visual symbols. Photographs and historical reconstructions have been made especially for this book. Important themes are shown on double-page spreads and there is a fold-out guide to Vasa's rich ornamentation - a powerful symbolic reference to the glory of the Swedish king.